According to several sources, the Los Angeles Lakers have signed veteran swingman Matt Barnes and veteran center Theo Ratliff. Barnes was originally going to be signed by the Toronto Raptors, but Los Angeles apparently matched the offer. Ratliff is a 15-year veteran who last played with the San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Bobcats.
The Lakers continue to add, as what it seems to be, veteran depth to the team as they continue to sign experienced players for this year's free agency. Barnes and Ratliff now add to this list.
Seven-year pro Barnes said on his Twitter that he was a Laker:
"Its official I AM A LOS ANGLES LAKER. I wanna thank u for all ur patients and understanding. This is a dream come true!!! Good lookn Kobe."
Apparently, according to reports, the deal was matched to the Raptors. It was more of Barnes' decision to just not worry about the money, but the team: which were the Lakers. So, hence, he signed a significantly less deal, in money-terms, to play with Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles.
According to Shannon Brown's agent, signing Barnes will not change anything with the negotiations between both teams. Eleven players are currently under contract with the team.
Theo Ratliff, is a very experienced veteran, as the 37-year-old has played 15 years already in the league. Ratliff played 49 games last season, averaging 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. But he slowly started fixing himself, averaging 5.1 points and 4.2 rebounds towards his last 29 games of the season. Ratliff has averaged 7.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks for his career as he has played for teams like the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, and the Charlotte Bobcats in his long, 15-year career so far.
"I've had a long and very rewarding career, and joining a storied and legendary franchise such as the Lakers adds an even more special element," Ratliff said in a statement released by the team. "I look forward to playing for Coach Jackson and with great players such as Kobe [Bryant], Derek [Fisher], Pau [Gasol], Lamar [Odom] Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum and all my other new teammates, and hopefully to helping the Lakers win a third straight championship."
Ratliff continues to land with teams with most significantly because of his shot-blocking abilities. He is in the Top 20 in NBA history with nearly 2,000 blocks for his career.
"Theo has long been considered to be one of the best defensive big men in the league," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. "He is a consummate professional and a welcome addition to our team. Together with Bynum, Gasol, Odom and Artest, he gives us a formidable and deep front line."
Los Angeles looks to do well with these solid additions.