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Matt Barnes weighing his options, not loving them

Jul 21, 2010, 5:53 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Mbarnes.jpgMatt Barnes is as indecisive about where he will play next year as Jessica Alba is about her hair color.

Well, to be fair, Barnes thought he had made a decision, and tweeted he was going to Toronto Monday. Except a few guys in suits forgot to do that math. So he is back on the open market and looking at his options. And is not quite sure what he is going to do, according to David Aldridge at NBA.com.

Matt Barnes was still trying to decide Wednesday afternoon whether he’ll take more money to play with the Cavaliers or chase a chance at a championship with the Lakers, Celtics or Heat.

The Cavaliers can offer the most money by far of any of the teams that Barnes is considering. Cleveland has its full mid-level exception for next season, $5.8 million, to use to sign players. The Cavaliers also have the $14.5 million trade exception they received from Miami as part of the sign-and-trade deal earlier this month for LeBron James. But Cleveland won’t use the trade exception for Barnes, and it’s not likely it would use all of the mid-level for the 30-year-old forward. Cleveland opted to take the big trade exception for James rather than renouncing him and several other free agents to clear cap space.

Just to break out the numbers on the contenders: The Lakers can offer the remaining $1.8 million from their mid-level exception (Steve Blake took up the first $4 million); the Heat and Celtics can only offer a veterans minimum of $1.2 million. Orlando does not have his “Bird rights” because he played for just one season for them, so they cannot exceed the cap to sign him. That’s what killed the sign-and-trade with Toronto. 

The money matters. Barnes has made “only” $7.7 million in his six years in the league. Yes, you and I would take that in a heartbeat, but in the financial world of the NBA that is nothing — every team in the NBA has at least a couple players making more than that this year alone, often players making twice that this year alone.

Barnes has played well under pressure for contenders, he deserves a payday. But he’s not getting a big one. So he sits and is indecisive. Can’t really blame him.

  1. hnirobert - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    what’s the take home income when comparing ohio, florida, cal and mass when considering state taxes?

  2. Tony - Jul 22, 2010 at 7:43 AM

    Cavs money is still significantly more, even with taxes figured in. The no-state tax thing in Florida is somewhat misleading, as this only applies to home games. However, dude was willing to play in Toronto, which has by far the highest taxes of any NBA city. He would have been paying nearly 50% in taxes in Canada….

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