Lakers News: LA Should Officially Put an End to Matt Barnes Era
Matt Barnes isn’t worth the risk.
According to the latest Los Angeles Lakers’ news, Barnes may have not played his last game in Hollywood after all. But knowing their depth chart needs little, if any work at all before the 2012-2013 campaign begins, LA should spurn the troubled small forward.
When Devin Ebanks re-signed with the Lakers months ago, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times reported they weren’t “expected” to extend Barnes’ tenure in Hollywood. Since then, though, Barnes himself has confirmed that he and his agent haven’t closed that door.
Barnes said in an interview with TMZ:
I'm actually a free agent right now. So [the Lakers] are one of the teams we are talking to. There are a couple of other teams. Hopefully we'll get this arrest situation out of the way so I can go ahead and move forward with my career.
Barnes is a more-than-capable role player. His motor is unsurpassed. He’s a respectable defender and a skilled slasher.
Los Angeles doesn’t need that on its bench. Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are already technical-foul machines. LA can’t have Barnes—who wouldn’t even play a major role—getting under referees’ skin as well.
Sure, if the Lakers were in need of depth, Barnes would be a phenomenal addition. But with a rotation that already includes Steve Blake/Chris Duhon, Jodie Meeks, Devin Ebanks, Antawn Jamison and Jordan Hill, where would Barnes’ minutes come from?
Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that Barnes shouldn’t be needed to regularly replace an erratic Metta World Peace this season.
Unlike last year, I hear very good things about Metta World Peace. He's in shape, lost weight and...surprise!...working a lot on his shot.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) August 28, 2012
And with World Peace expected to improve, Barnes would have to eat into Ebanks’ time to find the floor. And giving Ebanks’ minutes to Barnes would be a mistake.
Ebanks is 22 years old. He’s one of the few players on the Lakers’ roster that’s youthful and athletic. Benching that for a 32-year-old Barnes whose upside has been reached would be foolish.
Yes, the difference is so minute it’s practically irrelevant, but the Lakers have done some impressive things developing young, athletic wings in the past (see: Trevor Ariza, Shannon Brown). Ebanks could be the next in line.
Barnes wouldn’t be the first wing off the bench this season for LA. That role should be Meeks’.
With so much riding on this year’s success, re-signing the hot-headed Barnes, who’d not only play reduced minutes but wouldn’t even be a significant upgrade, is a roll of the dice the Lakers shouldn’t make.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?