Along with the additions of J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley to the Los Angeles Clippers this season, the team also agreed to re-sign Matt Barnes, yet another wing, to a three-year, $10.2 million contract. The 33-year-old Barnes was an integral part of the Clippers’ success last year, but he will likely be seen in a different role in the 2013-2014 NBA season.
Last season in L.A., Barnes had arguably his best overall season since entering the league 10 seasons ago. In 80 games he averaged 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 blocks and one steal in 25.7 minutes per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from three, good for a 56.6 percent true-shooting percentage, the third-highest of his career.
Barnes has always been a player that brings solid perimeter defense, energy and toughness to a team, but it was the offensive proficiency that he brought to the Clippers last season that really gave them a huge boost. Barnes ranked as the 39th best player on offense last season in terms of points per possession, averaging 1.02 per. He was well-rounded in the way he scored and was a key contributor in the Clippers’ run to the postseason.
However, with the additions of Dudley and Redick, Barnes is going to be relied upon much less offensively than he was last year. Though Barnes gave L.A. a huge boost on that end of the floor last season, that’s not the role he’s most accustomed to being in and not a role he has a history of having success in. Dudley and Redick have proven to be much more dangerous offensive players over their respective careers.
Because of the new additions to the Clips, Barnes will more than likely see his minutes decrease and will probably serve more as a defensive presence and energy guy off of the bench more than anything else. He will undoubtedly still have value to Los Angeles this season, it just won’t be in the same way that he did last season.