Matt Barnes

Warriors Sign Matt Barnes

MARCH 2: The Warriors have officially signed Barnes to fill their 15th and final roster spot, the club announced today in a press release.

MARCH 1: The Warriors intend to sign free agent forward Matt Barnes to a contract, sources tell ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Haynes (Twitter link). Barnes will fill the 15th slot on Golden State’s roster and will receive a rest-of-season contract rather than a 10-day deal, per Ramona Shelburne of (via Twitter).Matt Barnes vertical

Jose Calderon, who will clear waivers on Wednesday, had been set to sign with the Warriors, having reached an agreement with the team over the weekend. As Stein explains (via Twitter), Golden State still plans to sign Calderon as promised. However, the team will then waive him in order to sign Barnes.

The Dubs’ change of direction – from Calderon to Barnes – comes on the heels of Kevin Durant leaving Tuesday night’s game against the Wizards with a hyperextended left knee. The severity of that injury won’t be confirmed until Durant undergoes an MRI, but the fact that the Warriors are adding Barnes suggests that the club may view the injury as more than just a day-to-day issue.

Barnes, who will turn 37 next Thursday, signed a two-year deal with the Kings last summer and appeared in 54 games for the team this season. In 25.3 minutes per contest, Barnes recorded 7.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 2.8 APG. However, he lost his roster spot last week when Sacramento needed to cut a player in order to complete the DeMarcus Cousins trade. The Kings waived Barnes despite the fact that he had a $6.4MM player option for 2017/18.

Barnes, a Warrior from 2006 to 2008, will come with some baggage as he begins his second stint in Golden State. The UCLA product was allegedly involved in an altercation at a Chelsea nightclub in early December, and was recently booked for misdemeanor assault. He’ll have to appear in a Manhattan courtroom at a later date as a result of the charge.

Because he was waived prior to March 1, Barnes will be playoff-eligible for Golden State. Calderon will also retain his postseason eligibility as long as he’s signed and waived by the Warriors before the end of the day on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Warriors Sign, Release Jose Calderon

7:13 p.m.: Golden State has officially released Calderon, the team tweeted.

5:28pm: The Warriors have signed former Laker Jose Calderon, filling a promise to the veteran point guard, but he’s not expected to be with the team by the end of the day.

Golden State tweeted an announcement about the signing, which it pledged to Calderon when he agreed to a buyout with L.A. on Monday. However, after Kevin Durant suffered a knee injury Tuesday night that may keep him out for the rest of the season, the Warriors felt they needed a bigger player to take his place, so that roster spot will eventually go to Matt Barnes.

Golden State will waive Calderon later today to allow him to sign with another organization and still be eligible for the postseason. He will receive the guaranteed rest-of-the-season contract that he was originally promised and will go back on waivers for 48 hours. The Hawks are reportedly among the teams interested in signing Calderon once he clears waivers again.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Barnes, Lakers, Pelinka

There was a 10- or 15-minute period when the Warriors feared that Kevin Durant‘s knee injury would be much worse than an MCL sprain and bone bruise, GM Bob Myers tells Sam Amick of USA Today. However, after the MCL sprain showed up on an MRI, Golden State was able to diagnosis the bone bruise with a CT scan, alleviating the club’s most serious concerns.

The Warriors are certainly in no danger of losing their playoff spot, but with Durant potentially out until the postseason and the Spurs hot on their tails, the Dubs will be focusing on getting healthy and holding their No. 1 seed over the next several weeks, according to Myers.

“Health is probably the most important (issue), but (playoff) seeding is right up there,” the Warriors GM said. “I know we’re going to try to win as many games as we can. …We will do our best to keep the positioning we have now, but it’s not going to be easy.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific division:

  • Matt Barnes‘ contract with the Kings didn’t feature any set-off language, according to Bobby Marks of The Vertical (via Twitter). That means that Barnes will continue to earn his full salary on his deal with Sacramento, and will receive a prorated minimum salary from the Warriors on top of that.
  • Bill Oram of The Orange County Register spoke to several of Rob Pelinka‘s former clients and contacts around the NBA to get a sense of what sort of job Pelinka will do in his new role as the Lakers‘ general manager.
  • Baxter Holmes of also indirectly takes a closer look at the Lakers‘ front office by going in-depth on the Spurs. As Holmes outlines, the Lakers would be wise to follow in the footsteps of the NBA’s most successful, stable, and well-run organization of the last two decades.

Kings’ GM Divac Explains DeMarcus Cousins Trade

Kings GM Vlade Divac explains his comments about having a better offer for DeMarcus Cousins two days before the deal in an interview with Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee about last week’s shocking trade.

Divac says the offer came from the Pelicans, who were proposing Buddy Hield and two first-round picks, rather than the final package of Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and this year’s first- and second-rounders. He blames the center’s agents, Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana, for driving down Cousins’ price.

“I talked to DeMarcus’ agents to inform them we were having talks, negotiating terms, and they called teams and threatened them,” Divac explained, “saying that if Cousins was traded, he would not sign an extension. [The Pelicans] got scared and dropped it down to a second-round pick. I thought if I waited longer, I would get less. I needed to act.”

Divac also addressed the urgency created by a possible extension for Cousins, recent comments about keeping the big man in Sacramento and the decision to waive Matt Barnes in a wide-ranging discussion. Here are some highlights:

On the decision to pull the trigger on the trade to New Orleans:

“It was a lot of things, but basically, I thought it was time to start over. There was a lot of bad stuff happening here the last five years, a lot of bad habits. There were always issues, many you don’t even know about. Now I believe strongly this was the right thing to do for our future. Now I have a clear vision. This city deserves better, and I want to create that. With DeMarcus’ situation, I basically was stuck.”

Divac explains the stuck comment by noting that the Kings were looking at another non-playoff season with the prospect of either giving Cousins a massive extension this summer or trying to trade him with an expiring contract, which Divac believes would have scared teams away.

On a statement to ESPN earlier this month that Cousins was staying in Sacramento:

“Because I really did not have [good offers] for DeMarcus. In all the conversations I was having with GMs, we weren’t going to get anything. People were scared because of his history. So I felt confident he was going to stay with us, and I was going to work with him, and we would do the best we can. But then I got the offer from the Pelicans a few days before the All-Star Game. That was a difference of, what, two weeks from what I had said to ESPN? Everything changed.”

On recommending anger management therapy for the sometimes volatile star:

“Actually, that happened, and this time, they seemed more receptive. But I wasn’t sure if that was because the contract was coming up or what, so I wasn’t sure how to take it. Again, I wanted change, to start over. Acquire assets, build it right. At the same time play hard, play up-tempo, share the ball. Be a team, grow together.”

On releasing Barnes, who was waived Monday to open a roster spot and allow the deal to be completed:

“I want to build a culture, and he didn’t fit in my culture. Before we were just talking, preaching. But if we’re going to do it, you do it. The good thing about our situation now is that we have some very nice assets, a few more shooting guards, and time to take a look at Willie [Cauley-Stein], Skal [Labissiere] and Malachi Richardson] when he gets healthy, and Georgios Papagiannis. Ty Lawson has been very good for us, and Darren [Collison] is playing well, and he will be a free agent. Kosta [Koufos] has been good. We have [Bogdan] Bogdanovic coming over next season as another asset.”

On taking heat for moving Cousins:

That’s my job, and I take responsibility. And I totally understand why some fans would be upset. They supported DeMarcus, and I like DeMarcus a lot. But I believe we are going to be in a better position in two years. I want to hear again from these same people in two years. If I’m right, great. If I’m wrong, I’ll step down. But if I go down, I’m going down my way.”

And-Ones: Cavs, Bogut, Barnes, Holiday

The Cavs won’t make a decision on Larry Sanders until after the trade deadline, Dave McMenamin of passes along (ESPN Now link). Cleveland is also keeping an eye on the Andrew Bogut situation. The Cavs would like to bring the center aboard and they’re expected to be in the mix for him.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Several teams have expressed interest in Matt Barnes, Ramona Shelburne of tweets. Sources tell Shelburne that he’s waiting until after the trade deadline to make a decision.
  • Jarrett Jack will audition for the Pelicans, Marc Stein of tweets. New Orleans is pursuing backcourt help after trading away several players in the DeMarcus Cousins deal.
  • Point guard and pending free agent Jrue Holiday said the Pelicans “see me as a part of [the future],” the team tweets. The organization is calling Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis their version of a Big Three.
  • Mike Bibby and Ricky Davis will be the co-captains of the Ghost Ballers, the fourth official team in the new 3-on-3 league, according to a press release on
  • Thunder center Enes Kanter returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing arm surgery, Royce Young of reports. It’s uncertain whether Kanter, who suffered a broken arm punching a chair on the bench on January 26th, will return to action on Friday against the Lakers.
  • Former Rockets center Yao Ming, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, has been appointed as president of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to an report. He gave up ownership of the league’s Shanghai Sharks in order to take over his new role.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post

Kings Waive Matt Barnes

2:17pm: The Kings have officially waived Barnes, per a team release.

11:26am: In order for the DeMarcus Cousins trade between the Kings and Pelicans to become official, Sacramento will have to remove a player from its roster, since the team is sending out two players and taking three back. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link), the Kings are expected to open up that roster spot by waiving Matt Barnes.

Barnes, who will turn 37 next month, signed a two-year deal with the Kings in the offseason and has appeared in 54 games for the team this season. In 25.3 minutes per contest, Barnes has recorded 7.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 2.8 APG.

Although Barnes’ on-court production is probably about in line with what Sacramento expected, his behavior off the court has created problems. The veteran forward was allegedly involved in an altercation at a Chelsea nightclub in early December, and was recently booked for misdemeanor assault. He’ll have to appear in a Manhattan courtroom at a later date as a result of the charge.

Waiving Barnes would leave some dead money on the Kings’ cap. In addition to his guaranteed $6.125MM salary for 2016/17, Barnes also has a 2017/18 player option worth approximately $6.4MM. Assuming Sacramento officially cuts the 14-year veteran, the team would be on the hook for that figure, though it could be stretched across multiple seasons to free up some additional cap room for ’17/18.

After completing their Cousins trade, the Kings are also viewed as likely to waive newly-acquired guard Langston Galloway, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). If Sacramento goes ahead with that move, it would open up a spot on the club’s 15-man roster. (Note: Wojnarowski has deleted his tweet, and a more recent report from The Vertical has indicated the Kings will likely keep Galloway).

Matt Barnes Turns Himself In, Booked For Assault

FEBRUARY 1: Barnes turned himself in to the NYPD today, according to Larry Celona of The New York Post. The Kings forward received a desk appearance ticket and was booked for misdemeanor assault before being released without bail. He’ll have to show up in a Manhattan courtroom at a later date.

As we passed along earlier this week, Cousins won’t face any criminal charges relating to the December incident.

JANUARY 27: Kings small forward Matt Barnes is expected to turn himself in as a result of misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a nightclub incident in early December, Rocco Parascandola of the New York Daily News reports. Barnes allegedly assaulted a woman at a Chelsea nightclub on December 5th.

Two people—Jasmine Besiso, a 26-year-old woman, and her boyfriend, Myrone Powell, a 35-year-old man—filed a federal lawsuit last month against Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins, claiming they were assaulted by the NBA players. Besiso said she was sitting with her boyfriend at a table adjacent to Barnes’ and claims she witnessed Barnes get into an altercation with another woman. Besiso claims that Barnes then suddenly appeared near her and began choking her until she was unconscious.

Powell’s lawyer claims Cousins sucker-punched Powell in the head when he tried to intervene. Powell was knocked to the floor at which time other members of Barnes’ entourage hit and stomped him, his lawyer claimed at the time. The claimants’ lawyer has since said that the investigation is taking “way too long” and he claims that his clients have not been kept abreast during the investigation.

Both Cousins and Barnes maintain their innocence.  Police tell Parascandola that only Barnes will be charged and the 36-year-old is expected to travel to New York as early as next week.

Barnes is making slightly under $6.13MM this season and he holds a player option worth roughly $6.4MM for the 2017/18 campaign. It would be very surprising if he opts to turn that option down and hit the free agent market, given his current legal troubles.

DeMarcus Cousins Cleared In Nightclub Incident

DeMarcus Cousins won’t be arrested or prosecuted for his role in a December nightclub brawl, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. The incident occurred on December 5, after the Kings wrapped a loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. While Cousins has been “cleared of all wrongdoing,” teammate Matt Barnes is still expected to turn himself in to authorities, though it is unclear when he will do so.

This develop comes as a partial relief to the Kings, who endured a PR crisis when footage of Barnes and Cousins discussing the incident circulated on TMZ. As Stein noted, Cousins may still face punitive damages; both he and Barnes have been named in a civil suit, alleging that the two assaulted a man and woman.

The December incident marks the second time in the last year Cousins has been involved in nightlife trouble. Boogie was involved in a fracas at “The Drynk SoHo” in Tampa last May (also documented on TMZ), being pulled from the scene before police arrived.

The reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, Cousins has one year left on his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Pacific Notes: Barnes, Paul, Warriors, Kerr

Matt Barnes has become a veteran leader since signing with the Kings in July, but he entered free agency expecting to return to the Clippers, relays Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Barnes spent three years with the Clippers before being traded to Charlotte after the 2014/15 season. Ten days later, he was shipped to Memphis in another deal. Even though coach Doc Rivers opted to get rid of him, Barnes was expecting a reunion this summer. “I thought it was a done deal, I was going to the Clippers,” Barnes said. “The day before I was supposed to meet with Doc, they decided to go in another direction with Wesley Johnson. That was obviously my first choice at the time, to be close to my kids. Golden State was always a choice; they just didn’t have very much money. I’ve always been the guy to take less money to play on a better team, but the price gap was too far on this one.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Chris Paul‘s return has boosted the Clippers‘ confidence as they try to fight back from their recent six-game losing streak, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Paul believes he is finally over the left hamstring problems that sidelined him for seven of the past eight games. “I want to hoop, regardless,” Paul said. “But the toughest thing is when you can’t. Ain’t no point coming out there and not being you and hurt the team.”
  • Friday’s meltdown against the Grizzlies is part of an ongoing problem for the Warriors, writes Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News. Even with a 31-6 record, Golden State has been outscored by 15 points this season in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Warriors have played 38 clutch minutes since December began and have been outscored by 21 points. “We’re not used to these fourth quarter struggles,” said coach Steve Kerr. “We’ve really closed teams well the last couple years. So it feels different. It feels weird.”
  • Kerr has a lot of work ahead to turn a wealth of talent into a “super team” in time for the playoffs, contends Marcus Thompson II of The Mercury News. Thompson argues that the free agent signing of Kevin Durant disrupted team chemistry and says Kerr has three months to restore it.

Kings Notes: Cousins, Joerger, Barnes, Afflalo

Kings coach Dave Joerger is defending DeMarcus Cousins after his latest controversy, which involved two technicals, one of which was rescinded, and a brief ejection in Tuesday’s game, relays the Associated Press. Cousins, who leads the NBA with eight technicals and is third in fouls committed with 102, has complained that officials treat him differently than other players. “I wish they’d just call it like a high school game,” Joerger said. “Set the tone in the first 5 minutes how you want to officiate and go from there. He’s not easy to officiate. He creates a lot of contact and people bump him, just like they do with all the bigs.”

There’s more tonight out of Sacramento:

  • The Kings took the easy way out with a $50K fine for Cousins’ latest run-in with a journalist, charges Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Considering that Cousins makes about $15.7MM this season and $16.7MM next season, the fine won’t impact him, she writes, making it the latest in a series of incidents in which the franchise has enabled his bad behavior.
  • A woman who was allegedly involved in the December 5th nightclub brawl involving Cousins and Matt Barnes in New York City has been arrested, according to Ryan Lillis of The Sacramento Bee. Police took Laura Closure into custody on suspicion of assault and attempted assault for allegedly throwing a bottle at a woman’s face inside the club. The New York Post has reported that Closure was with Barnes and Cousins at the time of the incident. Neither player has been charged, but they were named in a civil suit earlier this month filed by Jasmine Besiso and Myrone Powell.
  • Arron Afflalo is denying a report that he refused to enter a game in Houston last week. In a video posted on the ABC 10 website, Afflalo says he has been “active and available” for every game this season. Joerger refused to discuss the incident, according to station reporter Sean Cunningham (Twitter link).