Just a quick note. From Clipperblog's estimable Jovan Buha we get this:
"Barnes did a great job filling this role this year, but due to the constraints of the collective bargaining agreement (the Clippers don't own his Bird Rights), the Clippers can only offer him up to 120 percent of his current contract, which is a little over $1.6 million. If Barnes wants to stay in L.A., he'll have to take a significant pay cut compared to his projected market value. Chances are, though, he bolts for more money and a larger role, as he's already stated he wants a pay increase."
*Edit 5/11 9:26 a.m. What Buha didn't say, and I didn't catch is that the reason the Clips can only pay Barnes 120 percent of his current contract is that the Clips are over the cap. But the team could pay Barnes using an exception. It looks like they have their full MLE and could give it all to Barnes or split it with another player. I should have caught that, it, but I didn't, and hey, whatever, I make mistakes all the time. I think the rest of what I said is still valid:
Yikes, Barnes was the best small forward on the Clippers this year (10.3/4.6 in 26 minutes), a key part of the Clippers bench, and one of the only guys who answered the bell in the playoffs (11.8/5 in 27). He was (is) also, to my mind, the Clippers most important off-season re-signing.
Now I suppose you could look at Barnes season as an outlier. He's thirty-three, he was almost out of the NBA before the Clips signed him in the off-season. He was probably a little desperate, and that reality led to his best NBA season statistically. He can't possibly be this good next year... right? Uh. Personally, I loved the way Barnes played this year. He showed up in great shape, came out hustling on day one, and found creative ways to be productive. He also provided toughness that the Clips were severely lacking.
But, as Buha suggests, it's unlikely the Clips can land him if all they can only offer if 1.6 million... unless they package a deal where they give him three years-plus with big raises in years two and beyond. But is that a deal that makes sense for the Clips? They already have thirty-two year old Jamal Crawford on a multi-year deal, and probably have to re-sign an aging Lamar Odom in similar fashion. What will neophyte GM Gary Sacks do?