Suns to Sign Free-Agent Forward Matt Barnes

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
By Stefan Swiat,
Posted: July 20, 2008

The Suns have taken a huge step forward to completing their roster and adding depth at the wing position by signing 28-year-old free agent Matt Barnes. The former Warrior burst onto the basketball scene in 2007 as one of the catalysts in Golden State's monumental upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks.

Last season, Barnes averaged 6.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 19.4 minutes, which was a slight dip from his career-best 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 2006-07.

However, the former UCLA-product proved himself to be a clutch player throughout the 2007 playoffs, averaging 11.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals during that time. He also demonstrated the ability to connect from 3-point land, nailing 42 percent of his attempts from downtown during that run.

The 6-7, 226-pound Barnes is expected to sign for the veteran’s minimum, which allows the Suns to save a bit of cap room. Like Grant Hill’s contract, the Suns have to pay a majority of the contract, but a good portion of it is covered by a league fund that was instituted during the last collective bargaining agreement.

The signing of the five-year veteran leaves only two open roster slots for the Suns, who will most likely fill one of those spots by inking a backup point guard.

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