We all know what the big moves by contenders were this season. The Spurs brought in LaMarcus Aldridge and somehow managed to convince David West to take an $11 million pay cut, while the Rockets traded for Ty Lawson, giving them one of the league’s most frightening backcourts. But what of the the more low-key moves? Let’s look at some under-the-radar offseason transfers and signings by contenders, which could have a surprisingly high impact on how they perform this season.
Matt Barnes – Memphis Grizzlies
After 13 years in the league, Barnes will finally suit up for the team that originally drafted him. It’s hard not to think of a team and a player more made for each other than Barnes and the Grizz. He’s the quintessential tough guy, and the Grizz are quintessentially a tough-guy team. He’s a clear fit for their mentality, and will likely gain a following right away. More importantly, though, he could help the Grizzlies with their floor-spacing woes. He shot a respectable 36.2 percent from deep last season, and 44.4 percent from the field. Within the Grizzlies system, Barnes will likely be a low-usage player, but he can stretch the floor as a small forward or off-guard, allowing Marc and Z-Bo to do more dirty work in the post. Plus, he can augment an already grimy defense, and has no qualms getting in the face of opponents, even if they’re former teammates.