Matt Barnes really wants a new deal. After stints in Golden State, Phoenix and Orlando as a tough role player, ably filling that Bruce Bowen defender/shooter niche, the former UCLA star is one of the few recognizable names still on the NBA free agency market.
After hinting that a deal was imminent last week, possibly with the Heat, Barnes announced Monday night that he was set to join the Raptors as part of a sign-and-trade deal. The only problem? The Raptors and Magic simply don't have the cap room to pull off the trade, at least not for the $5 million/year salary Barnes was reportedly set to receive.
As noted capologist Larry Coon explains, the Raptors would have to either give up the trade exception they picked up from sign-and-trading Chris Bosh to Miami or dump salary to generate the cap room they'd need to absorb Barnes' deal. Further complicating matters, because the Magic only had Barnes for a season, they don't own his full Bird rights, which means they can only go over the cap to sign him to a deal starting at $2 million/year. If Barnes is willing to accept a significantly smaller salary, the trade could be resurrected, but barring that, it's difficult to imagine this trade happening.
That's certainly good news for the Heat, Lakers, Celtics and Mavs, who were all previously rumored to be suitors for Barnes' services.