To no one in Grizz Nation's surprise, the Janis Timma --> Luke Ridnour --> Matt Barnes trade is going over very well in the world of basketball. It was basically a perfect alignment of $$$moneys, availability and timing. The Grizzlies finally got to use a trade exception (I can't be the only one who's disappointed when I see multi-million dollar exceptions expire, right?) and they infused active veteran skills (Barnes) in place of distant, theoretical potential (Timma).
ESPN's Kevin Pelton found the trade ($$) to be particularly favorable for Memphis.
It didn't take long for the Grizzlies to turn Ridnour's nonguaranteed contract, acquired Wednesday in an obvious precursor to another trade, into Barnes. As I explained in the Orlando-Memphis trade grades, salary-matching rules allowed Memphis to take on more salary in exchange for him than they could for the trade exception used to acquire him, and Barnes' salary ($3.5 million) fits neatly into the area that covered.
For that money, Barnes is a bargain. In particular, ESPN's real plus-minus thinks highly of his two-way performance as a 3-and-D specialist, rating him 3.2 points per 100 possessions better than an average player last season. That probably overstates things a little, and at age 35, Barnes figures to regress somewhat, but he should still be a starting-caliber small forward paid like an eighth man.
Pelton goes on to mention the even-more-crowded wing position that Memphis has with Barnes in the mix for a role, and he hints that they might not be done (head motions towards Jeff Green.) Either way, no one will argue that turning the rights to Janis Timma into Matt Barnes is anything but a successful start to the Grizzlies off-season.