8:49pm: Hornets GM Rich Cho specifically mentions Barnes in the club’s official announcement of the trade, praising the forward’s extensive experience in the league. While the kind words certainly don’t serve as evidence that Charlotte intends to retain Barnes, they do indicate there’s at least a chance he isn’t waived.
8:13pm: The Hornets are likely to waive Matt Barnes after the team’s deal to acquire him from the Clippers becomes official, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Barnes is poised to go, at least temporarily, to Charlotte as part of the Lance Stephenson trade agreement, but it appears as though the Hornets prefer to cash in on the savings they’d reap if they release Barnes on or before July 1st. His salary is partially guaranteed for $1MM through that date, but is fully guaranteed for almost $3.543MM after, as Wojnarowski notes (Twitter link).
The trade agreement itself means a net addition of $86K to Charlotte’s ledger for 2015/16, but if the team releases Barnes by that July 1st guarantee date, the two moves put together would take $2.457MM off of Charlotte’s cap for next season. The Hornets would still be hard-pressed to open cap space, with Al Jefferson opting in and Gerald Henderson having $6MM reasons to do so himself. Still, it would give the team additional flexibility to make other deals and spend the full $5.464MM mid-level exception.
Barnes enjoyed his most productive sustained stretch the past three seasons with the Clippers, averaging 10.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. He started a career-high 74 games for L.A. this past season, but he’d have a tough time starting in front of former No. 2 overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in Charlotte.