Lakers Sign Matt Barnes, Theo Ratliff

The Los Angeles Lakers have fortified their line-up for the coming NBA season as the two-time defending champions reached deals on Thursday with forward Matt Barnes and center Theo Ratliff, two players known for making life miserable for opposing teams.

Barnes, who played for the Orlando Magic the past season, signed a two-year deal that would pay him less than what he would have received had he accepted an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Barnes will receive $1.77 million in the coming season, about half of the Cavs offer, with a player option in the second year of the contract. The former UCLA star’s salary will increase to $2 million if he decides to stay with the Lakers in the 2011-2012 season.

Ratliff, on the other hand, will get $1.35 million for agreeing to play for one year with the Lakers, who will be aiming for their third-straight title in the coming season. Ratliff, a 15-year veteran, is expected to play back-up to Andrew Bynum and give the Lakers an intimidating presence inside with his shot-blocking ability.