Within the 2010 NBA offseason, Matt Barnes was negotiating an exit from the Orlando Magic and all indicators pointed to him heading north.
He even took to Twitter to thank Magic followers and announce that he’d be “playing for the Toronto Raptors” within the upcoming season.
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However the deal fell aside – Toronto had beforehand spent nearly all of their mid-level exception on small ahead Linas Kleiza, and now didn’t have the cash that they had already supplied Barnes.
On Friday, Barnes shared his perspective of the saga in an interview on The JD Bunkis Podcast.
“[My agent] was like, ‘Oh, you got a really good offer from Toronto,’ and I’m like, ‘okay, dope,’ I like Toronto, I’m a fan of Toronto, my brother played for the Argonauts,” mentioned Barnes, who retired in 2017. “The deal ended up being not what they initially offered, and I went to the Lakers.”
The then-29-year-old was already a seasoned NBA participant and a extremely touted role-player. Barnes was a participant that match the Raptors profile on the time.
Barnes was in negotiations with title contenders within the Miami Warmth and Los Angeles Lakers – the place he ultimately signed – earlier than the Raptors entered the dialog with an aggressive provide.
Till Friday, Barnes had no context of why that supply deteriorated.
“I never knew who the player was and that he offered the mid level twice or a few times,” he laughed. “If I would’ve known I probably would have said something, so I’m probably thinking [my agent] knew me well enough not to tell me about the mess that they made.”
Apart from the provide being extra beneficiant, Barnes was excited to go to Toronto – even after being recruited personally by Kobe Bryant – due to his and his brother’s love for the town.
“[My brother] would just rave about the city and how much support they had out there,” mentioned Barnes. “Once I got into city, I always had a good time – it would have been a cool opportunity.”
Kleiza performed three seasons with the Raptors the place he averaged 9.8 factors per recreation. On his finish, Barnes was underwhelming with the Lakers for 2 seasons earlier than crossing the road and being a big role-player on the ‘lob-city’ Clippers – the place he began his profession.
Take heed to The JD Bunkis Podcast Monday-Friday from 9–11 a.m. ET / 6-8 a.m. PT – on the Sportsnet Radio Community. Discover extra episodes and subscribe right here.
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