Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Barnes believes Paul will re-sign, hopes he can too
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Barnes is one of six unrestricted free agents on the Los Angeles Clippers roster this off-season, but if he were a betting man, he would wager that Paul would be back with the Clippers, and he hopes the same for himself.
"Chris and I have seen each other a few times after the season and that's something we've discussed," Barnes told the Mason & Ireland Show on ESPNLA 710 on Wednesday. "Not to really get into his business too much, but I think the Clippers are one of his of top teams to say the least and if I was betting guy I would say he would be back with the Clippers next year."
Paul helped recruit Barnes to the Clippers before this season, and Barnes was signed to a one-year contract for the veteran's minimum. Barnes, who had a career season, averaging 10.3 points and 4.6 rebounds, hinted during his exit interview that Paul was again recruiting him to come back to the Clippers. Barnes said he was hoping to do that this summer if were to be given a raise.
"I'm going to sit down and talk to my family and see where the market's at," Barnes said. "I've been one of those guys the last three or four years that's always been a great bargain. I've played for the mid-level and have played well but have yet to see a pay day. Not to say that I'm asking for the world, but I'm definitely looking for a salary increase."
Barnes, who scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Game 6 of the Clippers first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies, said he was open to going elsewhere but his preference would be to stay in Los Angeles.
"I had a great season with the Clippers and my family is very comfortable here in L.A.," Barnes said. "So the Clippers are going to be one of my top choices, but we're looking for a pay increase."
Before signing with the Clippers, Barnes, who played collegiately at UCLA, played two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Barnes said he enjoyed his time with the Lakers but did not have the best relationship with former Lakers coach Mike Brown, which is why he believes he wasn't re-signed by the team last year.
"From what I heard after it ended, Mike Brown didn't want me back," Barnes said. "However true that is but that was from a pretty reliable source that I talked to throughout the year. That was the deciding factor. Mike Brown wanted to go in a different direction and give some of the younger guys a try."
Barnes said he enjoyed his time playing for Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro but wasn't sure if Del Negro would still be the coach after the Clippers' season ended with a first-round exit last week.
"I'm not sure," Barnes said. "After all we accomplished as a team this year to win the division and win the most games in Clippers history, unfortunately the playoffs are when your names are made or broken and to go out in the first round is obviously a disappointment for all of us. Management has a lot of tough decisions this summer."