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Matt Barnes Continues the Cycle

Matt Barnes has agreed to a one-year deal with Warriors -- you can read about it at FanHouse and Golden State of Mind. Short version: He came into the offseason looking for a long-term midlevel contract; he ended up with a one-year flier and one-year rain check on stability.

Disclaimer: I'm a huge Matt Barnes fanboy. Sacramento doesn't exactly have a slew of pro basketball prospects, so Matty's ascension to UCLA and then the NBA was a great subplot running along side the Kings' own rise to prominence. Nevermind we graduated high school the same year and his game is entertaining. There's just nothing for me to not like about Matty.

Getting Matty on the Kings was a shining bonus while the team was sliding away from contention. Losing him almost immediately -- in the Webber deal -- was like a tease. He had performed well in Sacramento, and I think everyone thought he'd be in the NBA for good, at least as a second-string defensive roleplayer who could rebound. (Teams need those, right?) We couldn't have possibly foreseen the fall from minor relevance as it happened -- Jim O'Brien wouldn't give him one minute of playing time in Philly, Larry Brown started him one day and cut him the next in New York, Maurice Cheeks dubbed him a human victory cigar last resort tackling dummy back with the Sixers. This should not have happened. He should not have been contemplating leaving the sport, as he was before Golden State knocked.

This summer should've been the time for Matty Barnes to collect his stability. He deserves to know where the bread's coming from next year. He deserves to ignore his agent for a few months. Even if it means taking a slightly lower contract, he needs and deserves a bit of long-term security. Instead? He eats for a year and does it all along next summer. How many things can go wrong in a season? Knock on wood a hundred times, but think about it. Even Don Nelson deciding not to come back significantly damages Matty's prospects next July.

I just can't believe that run didn't result in a decent multiyear deal. I know $3.5 million is nothing to sneeze at, but how long is Matty's career going to last?