Two days ago, it was reported that the Memphis Grizzlies were really interested in using their Mid-Level Exception to sign former Clipper Matt Barnes to finish out their bid in the NBA Free Agency period. However, amid all the Dwight Howard news, another tidbit happened:
— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) July 5, 2013
Well, so much for that.
It’s probably not bad that Barnes will be headed back to LA. The Grizzlies were interested, presumably, because Barnes can shoot 3-pointers, though really, that’s more reputation than honest truth. Barnes shot the 3 at a career high last season…a career high of only 34%. Which is actually less than average.
So, the Grizzlies were hoping to fill their 3-point hole with a LESS THAN AVERAGE 3-point shooter. We can probably assume that the Grizzlies wanted Barnes for his defensive prowess as well as his offensive prowess, but…well…he just doesn’t have much offensive prowess in the form that the Grizzlies needed this free agency.
His shot chart:
So, he’s strong from the left wing, but that’s it. And actually, that particular chart overestimates how much value he brings to a team, offensively. This next chart, instead of FG%, ranks each section by the expected value of each shot:
Barnes is by no means a bad player. He’s an extremely smart secondary ball handler, he’s very good at finishing at the rim, he’s a wonderful passer, and he’s a shockingly good defender. Unfortunately, he’s just not the 3-point shooter the Grizzlies need him to be.
In fact, the Grizzlies just need a shooter, period, and Barnes isn’t that. Based off of the expected value chart, there’s not a single shot on the court other than right under the basket or the right wing/corner that would be actually valuable for the Grizzlies. Not one. The Grizzlies don’t really need more great defense, or a great passer; they need a shooter, and Barnes just isn’t that.
In all actuality, the FO is probably remembering the playoff game where Barnes dropped 6 threes against the Grizzlies. But just because he did it once doesn’t mean he’d do it consistently, or with the limited spacing Memphis could offer him.
So, with Barnes out of the picture, Memphis is left with one major interest left on the market: Dorell Wright. And with Dwight’s decision having just happened, added to the interest Wright was already getting from other teams (particularly from the Thunder), Memphis will surely be in a bidding war with many others.
Besides, Wright, like Barnes, was a good but not great three-point shooter.
Perhaps it’ll be time for Memphis to find some other interests.