Matt Barnes to the Lakers for the mini-MLE?


As the Los Angeles Lakers await to hear the choice Dwight Howard makes, they’re carrying on with their business as best as they can, though in the end, a lot of the decisions they make will likely be tied to Howard’s big decision.

One guy who they’ve been linked to already this off-season is former Laker, Matt Barnes, who reportedly may join the Lakers or Clippers for the mini-mid level exception:


The Lakers have around $3.2 million to offer via their mini-mid level exception, and the exception is only permitted to be used once this off-season. After that, it’s back to offering league minimum contracts to players.

I would actually be surprised if the Lakers gave Barnes all of their mini-MLE: seeing as it’s their biggest spending tool this summer. They’d likely be wiser to spend the $3.2 million on a younger player, instead of the 33-year-old Barnes.

Then again, if they plan on making Barnes their starting small forward, $3.2 million is a fairly small price to pay if Matt can deliver on a nightly basis. They could maybe justify giving the full mini-MLE to Barnes as opposed to paying Metta World Peace $7.7 million next season.

The Lakers are also said to be very interested in the services of Chris Copeland, a 29-year-old small forward who last played with the Knicks, and it’s very possible that the chances of Barnes joining the Lakers are tied to the eventual destination of Copeland – and vice versa.

Written by Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in England. You can follow him on Twitter: @RossPickering