Former Lakers small forward Matt Barnes appears set to sign with the Clippers. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
Matt Barnes is moving down the hallway.
The small forward who spent two seasons with the Lakers is expected to change locker rooms inside Staples Center and sign with the Clippers later this week, according to a person close to the situation who was not authorized to discuss the matter until it becomes official.
Barnes will rejoin the team he started his NBA career with nine years ago after being a reserve with the Lakers last season, when he averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. After he suffered an ankle injury in the next-to-last game of the regular season, he averaged only 3.5 points (shooting 27.1%) and 3.3 rebounds in the playoffs.
He fell out of the rotation by the end of the Lakers’ Western Conference semifinal series against Oklahoma City, playing only four minutes in Game 4 and not at all in Game 5.
Barnes joins a Clippers team already well stocked at his position, with small forwards Caron Butler, Grant Hill and Travis Leslie. The 6-foot-10 Lamar Odom can also play small forward.
The well-traveled Barnes, 32, has played for eight teams in nine NBA seasons, producing career averages of 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Barnes faces a felony charge of threatening a public official after an incident late July in Manhattan Beach. An officer, aware that Barnes had an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor violation of driving on a suspended license, approached him on foot and attempted to arrest him when police officials say Barnes refused to cooperate and threatened the officer.
He is scheduled to appear in a Torrance courtroom Oct. 1.
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