Matt Barnes has wanted to hold his own basketball camp for children in the Sacramento area but had a goal in mind beforehand.
"I really wanted to establish myself in the league before having a camp," he said of the gathering scheduled for next Monday through Friday at Rocklin High School. "It's a way of giving back to kids in the area and also meet some of the guys I'm bringing in to see them."
Barnes, 27, played a major role last season in the Warriors' upset of top-seeded Dallas in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
He played in 76 regular-season games with the Warriors and each of the 11 playoff games against the Mavericks and the Utah Jazz.
In three previous seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Kings, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers, he played no more than 56 games. For the first time, Barnes can anticipate having a job and financial security.
The midlevel exception of $5.356 million seemed a realistic salary starting point in the eyes of many, including Barnes. In a departure from his usual steady, low-key approach, Barnes left agent Bill Neff, who had beaten many a bush over the past few seasons to get Barnes into veteran training camps, to sign with agent Dan Fegan, who just happened to have fellow Warriors Stephen Jackson and Jason Richardson (since traded to Charlotte).
"I was talking to a lot of people who were telling me that I needed a big-time agent to get that big money," Barnes said Wednesday evening.
"That's the main reason I decided to change agents. It wasn't anything that (Neff) did or didn't do. We'll see if that was a smart decision or not. Basically, it was just me analyzing my situation."
Wednesday was the first day teams could sign free agents, and Barnes said he has not received the offers he anticipated.
"Right now, there's nothing happening," he said. "I was thinking the midlevel exception was realistic, but my agent has been telling me teams have questioned whether the success I had was because of (Warriors coach Don) Nelson's system and whether or not I could have the same success in another system.
"It's pretty frustrating because I thought I had a good year," said Barnes, who averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists and shot 43.8 percent from the field, including 36.6 percent from three-point range, in 23.9 minutes per game during the regular season. "It was not a great season, but it was good. And from what other players have received, I thought I'd be right there in that mix. But Golden State has not come around to what I thought they might, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens."
Barnes has spent the early portion of his NBA career working to improve during the offseason. Nelson showed a lot of faith and confidence in him, and that paid off for both during the playoffs, when Barnes shot 45 percent from the field (42.2 percent from three-point range) in 30 minutes per game.
Barnes will have many experiences to share with the participants at his camp, which Rocklin High coach Steve Taylor will run.
"Steve coached my team in the Optimist Game my senior year in high school," Barnes said. "I know it's the first year of the camp, so it might be a little rough. And a lot of the organization on this one was done without me because of the playoffs, but I think things are looking better and better."
Barnes said there will be two sessions daily. Seventh- through 10th-graders will work from 1 to 4 p.m., and fourth- through sixth-graders will go from 5 to 8 p.m. The cost will be $175 per participant, he said, and kids can register the day of the camp.
"I couldn't afford to go to any camp when I was young, so I wanted to make sure it was a realistic price," he said.