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Matt Barnes Goes Hollywood; Latest on Chris Paul

By Chevall Kanhai
July 23, 2010

From nemesis to teammates is the trend Kobe Bryant revolves around. The newest member? Matt Barnes. Barnes has signed to a two-year 3.6-million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Lakers which includes a player option in the second year, a deal similar to the one he signed in Orlando. After the fallout with Toronto his options were slim in finding a lucrative deal with a contender. Cleveland reportedly offered him a 2 year deal worth 7 million. With Orlando signing Quentin Richardson and matching J.J. Redick's offer it was foreseen that Barnes was eventually out of Orlando's future plans.

This isn't the only time a foe of Kobe has joined him the year after a scuffle. In the 2009 playoffs when Ron Artest was in Houston the series between them and the Lakers was remembered for some of Ron's antics with Kobe. The summer of 2009 Artest signed an MLE deal with the Lakers. This past season Matt Barnes had his own run in with Kobe in LA's only visit to Orlando.

UPDATE (7/23/10 8:32 P.M.) Chris Paul's preferred destination is now Orlando according to Chris Broussard of ESPN

Original Update:
The latest on the Chris Paul dilemma is that he's headed to meet with the Hornets front office on Monday. That leaves a weekend of speculating and rumors swirling from left to right. The latest I heard was New York having the priority over Orlando, Dallas and Portland. Also, I came across this interesting story of Chris Paul's influence on leaving New Orleans. It's worth a read, especially the excerpt in this blog from NBA.com writer Sekou Smith.

Amway Center Update: The sign is finally on Magic fans! I drove by it last night but no lighting was on it so, I'm assuming that's still to come.


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