Matt Barnes was all set to be a Toronto Raptor. Now, he might never get that chance.
Tweeting, “Nxt season I will b playing for the Toronto Raptors. I wanted to thank the fans in orl you guys were amazing the way u guys excepted,” Barnes was ready to get paid for the first time in his NBA career. Two years, $10 million for the expected deal, which would have been finalized after Toronto completed a sign-and-trade with Orlando.
Would have been finalized, ya know, except those talks hit a snag and – depending on who you ask – might have completely fallen through. Marc Stein (ESPN) believed talks would continue today, despite the problems the trade faced yesterday, but Adrian Wojnarowski (Yahoo!) reported that the talks are completely dead. Here’s what Stein had to say:
Veteran swingman Matt Barnes, one of the most coveted free agents left on the open market, announced Monday night that he is headed to the Toronto Raptors.
But the limited sign-and-trade options available to Orlando — Barnes’ last team — could scuttle the deal, according to sources close to the situation.
Under the impression that he would be receiving a two-year contract in the $10 million range, Barnes thanked Magic fans via his Twitter feed and said that he’ll be “playing for the Toronto Raptors” next season.
Sources told ESPN.com that the teams will resume discussions Tuesday, as planned all along, with the intent of landing Barnes with the Raptors via sign-and-trade.
Yet no such deal could be assured as of midnight, raising the possibility that Barnes would have to accept new terms to sign with the Raptors or that other teams that have been chasing Barnes will get another shot at him if the deal collapses.
A little while after ESPN reported that the teams would resume sign-and-trade discussions today, Wojnarowski tweeted, “For Matt Barnes-to-Toronto, a league source says, ‘The sign and trade (scenario) is dead.’ Blamed on a ‘miscalculation’ somewhere in talks.”
Even if the trade talks ARE dead, does this open Barnes back up to the market? I don’t know. Maybe he’ll still feel loyalty to Toronto and sign for a lesser deal. Or maybe Barnes will end up back as a free agent. If so Cleveland reportedly offered him the most money besides Toronto, while Miami, LA, Dallas and Boston can all offer a shot at contending.
Who knows? Maybe Barnes will even end up a Celtic. But I wouldn’t bet your life on it. Actually, I wouldn’t even bet a couple bucks.