A firm injury diagnosis on Kevin Durant is not expected before Wednesday, but the Golden State Warriors have already lined up Matt Barnes as a potential Durant fill-in, the veteran swingman confirmed to ESPN.
Sources told ESPN that the Warriors, in the wake of the hyperextended left knee Durant suffered Tuesday night at Washington, quickly reached out to Barnes and made arrangements to sign him later this week.
Barnes told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he will sign a rest-of-the-season deal with Golden State, as opposed to a 10-day contract.
“It’s a dream come true!” Barnes told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “I feel like I helped start something in ’07, and now I’m coming back to help finish it.”
In an Instagram post late Tuesday night, Barnes called this “the happiest day of my life” after the birth of his children.
Barnes spent two seasons in Golden State, from 2006 to 2008.
Sources said Golden State, to make roster room for Barnes, will be forced to abandon its plans to sign Jose Calderon on Thursday after Calderon clears waivers.
The Warriors were still evaluating MRI results on Durant after their Tuesday night road loss to the Wizards, sources said, and are expected to announce the severity of Durant’s injury Wednesday.
Regarding the looming addition of Barnes, Warriors officials could not be reached for comment.
Freshly waived by the Los Angeles Lakers, Calderon committed to sign with the Warriors early this week upon clearing waivers at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday. But ESPN has learned that the Warriors will sign Calderon to a rest-of-the-season deal and then promptly waive him, ensuring Calderon earns the money he would have received in Golden State but also leaving a roster spot open to add Barnes.
On Feb. 20, the Kings waived Barnes — who grew up in Sacramento — despite the fact he is owed nearly $6.5 million next season.
The Kings needed a roster spot to accommodate the players they received in their DeMarcus Cousins trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. Because of what Kings general manager Vlade Divac termed “culture” reasons, they decided to waive the 36-year-old Barnes after a rocky stint with his hometown team that included a December arrest stemming from an incident in a Manhattan nightclub.