The Phoenix Suns, in adding center Earl Barron to the roster, now have 200% more "Earls" than 28 other NBA teams and 100% more than the Jazz (Watson, Earl) and Bucks (Boykins, Earl). In addition to having more Earls, the size of the Suns' Earls exceeds the rest of the league's Earls by a combined 26 inches. That's over two more feet of Earl.
So, I think we can all agree that when it comes to Earls, the Phoenix Suns are the NBA's true leader in both quantity and ... well, quantity.
Note: The Suns technically haven't officially announced that they've signed Earl Barron, so don't pop the corks just yet on the Era of Earls.
The Era of Earls is on!!!
On to the new Earl, may he be more productive than the old Earl.
Here's what we know, starting with the basics:
- 7-0, 250 lbs, 29 years old. Undrafted out of Memphis. NBA Champion (2005 Miami Heat)
- Barron played overseas in Turkey and the Philippines and has a total of 66 games in the D-league over three seasons between 2005 and 2010, where he averaged 15 points and 9.5 rebounds in 31 mpg. He missed a lot of time in 2005 and 2006 with a stress fracture in his lower back.
- Barron's NBA career began in Miami, where he played a total of 82 games over three years. In his best season, 07-08, he averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds in 19 minutes per game. The Heat won 15 games that year, you might recall (but would be forgiven if you don't).
- Barron was called up by the Knicks at the end of last year and put up some pretty impressive numbers on a really bad team in basically garbage time for their season. 7 games, 33 minutes per game, 12 points and 11 rebounds and 44% shooting.
- UPDATE: Earl Barron is on twitter: @Earldee
Delving deeper, here's what Seth from Knicks blog Posting and Toasting had to say about a guy who quickly became a Knicks fan favorite, but didn't impress anyone else in the league enough to earn a roster spot until now.
I grew to appreciate "The Aristocrat" during his brief Knick career, although not nearly as much as some other Knicks fans. Barron's a serviceable role player because he minds his own business and plays to his strengths. He rebounds like he means it, cans midrange jumpers pretty consistently, and keeps his facial hair pretty neat.
On the other hand, he's not much of an interior defender and isn't beefy enough to tussle with legitimate big men (not that he'd really be asked to). He's kind of like a poor man's Channing Frye, except for the part about the facial hair.
Looking at the shot selection numbers on Hoopdata.com and watching film of Barron on Synergy pretty much confirms what Seth said. Seths are almost always right, btw. Bank on it.
Barron is a pick-and-pop guy with a decent mid-range shot. There was a total of one (1) (uno) example from last season where Barron actually rolled and finished near the rim on a pass from Sergio. That could be because his point guards were Sergio Rodriquez and Toney Douglas and not Steve Nash and Goran Dragic. We'll have to wait and see what the big man's pick-and-ROLL chops really are until he gets here.
In the meantime, his post game is pretty much non-existent. Barron took 28% of his shot attempts at the rim and 52% from between 16 and 23 feet, where he was an impressive 40%. Synergy backs that up calling him "bleh" (technical term) in post isolation situations.
Defensively, Barron is not a shot blocker. And by that I mean he Does. Not. Block. Shots.
In his entire NBA career, Earl Barron has recorded 16 blocks total. That equals how many ground-bound Jared Dudley had last season, is 2 more than Steve Nash had last season, and is quite a bit less than the 74 Channing Frye recorded last season.
Barron was noted by Draft Express in a 2008 scouting report as being an average athlete who lacks the lateral quickness to defend on the perimeter and isn't a good weak side help man, either. His Synergy defensive stats use a lot of words like "average" and "below average."
Rebounding is where Barron really shined in limited sample size for the Knicks. He impressed their fans and had a monster 18 rebound game against the Boston Celtics in early April while the C's were resting up for their playoff run.
With the Knicks, Barron had an impressive 22.9 defensive rebound rate (in 7 games), which puts him up there with David Lee, Lamar Odom and Anderson Varejao. In a larger sample size in 2008, Barron had a respectable 17.9 defensive rebound rate in 46 games; that's behind Kwame Brown and Amare Stoudemire.
So, bottom line on Barron:
- Can stretch the floor and hit mid-range shots and play pick-and-pop
- Not much of an inside post game and unknown pick-and-roll skills
- Reputation as a decent defensive rebounder
- Not a shot blocker and perhaps an average defender
- There's a reason teams in desperate need for size this season passed on Barron in favor of Fabricio Oberto, Theo Ratliff, Sean Marks, Melvin Ely, Kosta Koufos, Salomon Jones, Tony Battie, Jason and Jarron Collins and, dare I say it, Garret Siler
No Earl Barron treatise would be complete with a word from Scott from Ridiculous Upside. Scott is the world's leading expert on all things Earl Barron. He argues that EB is a better NBA player than D-league player. Really.
Earl Barron Is Better In The NBA Than He Is In The D-League - Ridiculous Upside
In the D-League - seemingly to appeal to a wider amount of teams as well as help his own D-League team - he wasn't allowed to simply float just inside the perimeter and wait for one of the four scoring options in front of him pass him the ball in spots where he's open.
And because if it's not on YouTube it didn't happen....