JULY 10TH: The Clippers have officially finalized the signing of Barnes, per a team release.
JULY 5TH: Matt Barnes is heading back to the Clippers, as Barnes himself announced today on Twitter. According to Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter), Barnes has reached a three-year contract agreement to remain in Los Angeles.
The deal will be in the $11-12MM range, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter), which means the Clippers appear to be using a portion of their mid-level exception to get it done. Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com notes (via Twitter) that the third year won't be guaranteed, while Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) pegs the value at $9-11MM. The difference between Spears' and Turner's figures may be related to the amount of guaranteed money.
Barnes was linked to a ton of teams during free agency, including the Mavericks, Nuggets, Nets, Knicks, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, and Pelicans. However, he always seemed to be a good bet to stick in Los Angeles with either the Clippers or Lakers. A report earlier today suggested he would likely sign with one of those two L.A. teams for an amount around the mini mid-level.
Barnes, an Aaron Goodwin client, outperformed his minimum-salary contract with the Clippers in 2012/13, averaging 10.3 PPG and recording a 15.5 PER. While his new salary will take up a portion of the Clippers' MLE, the team isn't done looking for more help, according to Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. As Markazi tweets, L.A. still has room to sign another veteran for more than the minimum, though the player would have to come fairly cheap.