Not so fast, Matt Barnes

May 18, 2010 - Orlando, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02163651 Orlando Magic's Matt Barnes (L) and Dwight Howard react against the Boston Celtics during the third period of game two of the NBA Eastern Conference finals at the Amway Arena in Orlando Florida, USA, 18 May 2010. The Celtics hold a one game to none lead in the best of seven series.

Matt Barnes announced via Twitter that he was going to join the Raptors on a two-year deal worth $10 million. Yay! But wait, the Raptors already used the bulk of their mid-level exception on Linas Kleiza. They must be working out a sign-and-trade with Orlando. Yay! But wait…

The Magic, though, are prevented by salary-cap rules from starting a sign-and-trade deal for Barnes at higher than $2 million, because Orlando doesn’t have Barnes’ full Bird rights after employing him for only one season. A sign-and-trade deal would also have to span at least three years, although only the first year is required to be guaranteed.

Barnes was initially believed to be on the verge of signing with a title contender late last week — such as Miami, Boston or the Los Angeles Lakers — when the Raptors made an aggressive late rush to join the bidding.

Barnes also gave serious consideration in recent days to the Cleveland Cavaliers before talks with Toronto got serious.

How do Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors miss this? Aren’t they paid to understand the salary cap and its rules?

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