NBA Free Agency: L.A. Lakers Sign Matt Barnes

Alexander LContributor IJuly 22, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 30:  Matt Barnes #22 of the Golden State Warriors makes a shot against the New Orleans Hornets on January 30, 2008 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles have grabbed yet another free agent.  Yahoo Sports is reporting that Matt Barnes has inked a two year deal worth $3.6 million with the defending champions.  Barnes turned down an offer worth a reported $7 million from the Cavaliers.  Barnes brings expert shooting and stout defense off the bench to back up starter Ron Artest.  Luke Walton now becomes the odd man out and will probably be dealt in the coming months.

Matt Barnes is a proven vet but his story is even more interesting.  Matt Barnes, previous to his stint on the Golden State Warriors, was having an abysmal NBA career.  However, this changed once Don Nelson discovered Barnes while he was contemplating a move to the NFL.  His stint on the Golden State Warriors gave him a chance to play for a winning team: the same team that beat the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs.  From there Barnes bounced around the league once more but he was no longer considered a garbage player.  Barnes' most recent stint was on the Orlando Magic: Barnes was able to help the Magic reach the Eastern Conference Finals for a second consecutive year.  However, the loss to the Celtics also meant the end of his brief tenure with the Magic.  Barnes is an extremely capable defender and will make the Lakers extremely competitive at the defensive end.  His shooting ability is an added touch and makes him just that much more lethal.