April 17, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers small forward Matt Barnes (9) controls the ball against the defense of San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Small forward Matt Barnes could find himself back in Los Angeles next season, as a member of the Clippers.
Former Los Angeles Lakers small forward Matt Barnes is close to moving across the hall at the Staples Center and becoming a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Sam Amick of SportsIllustrated.com.
Sources told Amick that the 32-year-old Barnes is leaning toward signing a deal that could be formalized later this week.
Barnes most recently made headlines when he was arrested by Manhattan Beach police for an outstanding traffic warrant. It was speculated that off-court trouble, along with a disappointing showing in the first round of last year's NBA playoffs, might lessen his chances to come back to the Lakers in 2012. Barnes averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.9 minutes in 63 games for the team last season
The Clippers have had a busy offseason, signing forward Blake Griffin to a five-year contract extension, re-signing guard Chauncey Billups, and signing guard Jamal Crawford, veteran small forward Grant Hill and big man Ronny Turiaf.