Remember Earl Barron, the D-League journeyman that has spent time with the Huntsville Flight, Florida Flame, Los Angeles D-Fenders and most recently the Iowa Energy before receiving a call-up to the New York Knicks to end the season?
Of course you do, but I wouldn't be surprised if you forgot about him since he didn't play in either Summer League and instead has spent his time tweeting, fishing in his NBA socks and turning down lucrative overseas offers. Basically, he and I have been doing the same thing - except my overseas offers aren't really lucrative. Or offered.
The reason that time hasn't been spent playing basketball - aside from the pickup games at the University of Memphis - is that the 7-foot center has enough confidence in his game that he believes that he's done enough to now be worth nothing less than a guaranteed contract from an NBA team for next season. Unfortunately for Barron, however, that contract has been slow in coming. So slow, in fact, that it hasn't come at all.
One of the most sensible spots for Barron to end up this season was with the Knicks since he impressed even the harshest of critics (me) during his seven game stint to bookend the 2009-10 season. According to Newsday's Alan Hahn, however, the Knicks are no longer a possible destination for Barron.
With (Eddy) Curry, Ronny Turiaf and Russian rookie Timofey Mozgov on the depth chart at center, the Knicks aren't in the market for yet another big man. The discovery (and signing) of Mozgov effectively ended Barron's chances of a return, even after rookie Jerome Jordan opted to go to Serbia rather than come to camp this year.
The Knicks initially tried to sign Barron at the end of the 09-10 season, when he averaged 11.7 points and 11 rebounds in 33.1 minutes per game in the final two weeks of the season. He was offered a non-guaranteed contract for 10-11 and turned it down, mainly because he was hoping to get something more secure - perhaps even from the Knicks - during the offseason.
Fortunately, the Knicks weren't the only team that Barron was holding out hope to sign with next season.
"We are having discussions with several teams regarding Earl," Barron's agent, Mark Termini, said when he spoke to Newsday.
I find it interesting that the big man, who was property of five different teams in five D-League seasons, has decided that his brief stint with the Knicks was enough of a showing to make it no longer necessary to prove himself in an NBA camp.
Still, if he can get away with it, more power to him.