The Los Angeles Lakers renovated their bench as well as they could over the Summer, adding Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks to help find some semblance of "bench production" which has been severely lacking over the last few seasons. In that process, however, wing man Matt Barnes walked to the other Los Angeles team, the Clippers. While Barnes did battle injuries through his time with the Lakers, he was also generally the best player off the bench on a nightly basis when he was healthy, and thrived late in the season when the Lakers acquired Ramon Sessions which opened the floor in transition for him. Considering Devin Ebanks is still the only reserve small forward on the roster (no, sit down Antawn) and the Lakers continue to be linked to washed up wing men (see: Mickael Pietrus who is now with the Toronto Raptors, and Raja Bell), perhaps retaining Barnes would have been in their best interest. So, why is Barnes no longer a Laker?
Two simple words, according to the veteran wing: Mike Brown. An interesting assessment considering Mitch Kupchak and the front office have final say in the roster. However, it’s hard to argue the Lakers couldn’t use his 8.1 points per game and 5.6 boards off the bench, especially while Devin Ebanks is off getting DUI’s, making rap singles, and hitting the amazing marks of 3.0 points per game and 1.8 rebounds.