Since the moment Carmelo Anthony decided to keep his talents in New York this summer, Lakers management made it clear they wanted to roll their cap space forward to 2015. Debate has raged about why the Lakers could not sign any significant free agents in 2014, and if it is a problem that will inhibit the team in off-seasons to come.
Theories for the Lakers' inability to sign or retain free agents have ranged from issues within the front office to an unwillingness of players to join up with Kobe Bryant and his large contract. Former Lakers forward Matt Barnes comes done firmly in the former camp (from Sports Illustrated):
"The reason people don't want to go to the Lakers is because of management," Barnes tells SI.com. "Kobe can be the scapegoat all they want but if you play hard, Kobe likes you. And if you bulls--- around, he doesn't. It's plain and simple. He's not a vocal leader. He just expects you to play as hard as you can every minute on the court, like he does."
Barnes does not specify what about Lakers' management was a reason for players to not want to play there, but whatever it was was evidently not enough of an issue for Barnes to not consider resigning with the team when he was last a free agent, telling TMZ (as transcribed by CBS Sports) that the Lakers "are one of the teams we are talking to" when asked if he would re-sign with the team after its blockbuster trades for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in 2012. The Lakers instead chose to roll with Devin Ebanks as their backup wing option, which fans will recall did not go so well.
In fact, Barnes' issues with "management" may stem from a man who is not even there anymore, as he stated on Twitter in November of 2012 after signing with his current team, the Los Angeles Clippers:
So whether Barnes' issues stem from the Lakers not wanting to re-sign him in the wake of his arrest for a "traffic violation and resisting arrest", or he still thinks Mike Brown is part of the front office's decision making process, he may not be the most unbiased source of information on the Lakers.