Why Are The Kings Still Paying Matt Barnes?

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings Matt Barnes (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Look down the list of the players on the Kings payroll this season and you’ll find Barnes’ name. And we’re not talking about Harrison.

Now-retired NBA veteran Matt Barnes played for nine teams in his 14-year career, including two stints with the Sacramento Kings. He won his first and only championship in his final season as a member of the 2017 Golden State Warriors, though he played in only 20 games for them and averaged just 5 minutes per game in the playoffs.

The reason he only played 20 regular-season games for the Warriors that year was that he started the season as a member of the Kings.

Sacramento signed Barnes to a two-year, $12 million deal in the summer of 2016, and ended up waiving him in February of 2017 to make room for the players acquired in the DeMarcus Cousins trade.

Instead of paying Barnes the full $6 million they owed him for the second year of his deal, the Kings decided to use a stretch provision on the contract.

Under the rules of the stretch provision, any subsequent years owed to the player are spread out over twice the remaining years, plus one. This means that the Kings are paying Barnes his $6 million, but are taking three years to do so.

The Kings will make their final payment to Matt Barnes this season, a cool $2.1 million. When all is said and done, Barnes will have made just over $13 million from the Kings, including the $700k he received for the ’04-’05 season.

Despite being a key contributor on multiple contenders throughout his career, no one stuffed Barnes’ pockets more than Sacramento. He made less than $9 million over two separate three-year stints with the Clippers. He got $3.2 million from the Lakers, and the Grizzlies gave him $3.5 million.

Matt Barnes is technically the oldest person on the Sacramento Kings payroll, just a mere 19 years older than Marvin Bagley III.