Kevin Durant knee sprain opens door for Matt Barnes
After Durant was injured just one minute into Tuesday night’s game against the Wizards, the Warriors pivoted from their long-rumored infatuation with Jose Calderon to sign the veteran small forward. Per an ESPN report, they will honor their agreement with Calderon but then waive him to sign Barnes.
Barnes flirted with a return to Oracle during the offseason, but with their pursuit of Durant the Warriors couldn’t offer more than the veteran minimum and Sacramento swooped in with the cash. But when they traded DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans for three players, they waived the swingman to make room.
Barnes was actually putting together a pretty decent season with averages of 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Those numbers are trending upward, as he averaged 10.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists during the month of February, which included two double-doubles against the Warriors.
When the Warriors cut Briante Weber, it was all but guaranteed that their next move was signing Calderon after he cleared waivers. It was a move that was widely criticized among fans, and maybe even the locker room.
Also, releasing Weber wasn't exactly a popular move in the locker room, either, from what I could tell.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) February 26, 2017
The reaction to a perspective Barnes signing however has been almost universally praised and has made fans almost forget the status of Durant very much hangs in the air.
Barnes himself shared how happy the news made him on Instagram:
Barnes is popular among the fan base for being apart of the “We Believe” Warriors and what that team accomplished after what the franchise and its fans had to endure will not be soon forgotten.
He even shared a text exchange between fellow We Believe team member Stephen Jackson:
The deal is expected to become official sometime Wednesday.