Hometown: Clarksdale, Miss.
Birthdate: August 14, 1981
Experience: 4 years
Draft: Undrafted (2003)
Season Outlook: The Suns brought Earl Barron in as an emergency big when Robin Lopez suffered a sprained knee in mid-November due to their lack of depth up front. If he hits the boards hard and provides even a decent defensive presence then the Suns will find him some minutes, especially when Lopez is injured or in foul trouble.
Barron should be plenty motivated after an offseason of being passed over by every NBA team for so much as a training camp invite despite averaging 11.7 points and 11.0 boards per game in seven games for New York last season. Playing in Phoenix with Steve Nash and at the ripe old age of 29, this could be Barron’s last best chance to earn an above minimum NBA contract, so he should be plenty motivated.
Although it has taken longer than he might have liked, Barron has landed in the perfect situation with a team craving size that will give him the opportunity to produce if he’s effective. But if he becomes just a footnote to the Suns’ season like Stromile Swift a couple years ago, you have to wonder if things will ever click for Barron.
Biography: Born in Clarksdale, Miss., Barron was a dual sport athlete at Clarksdale High School, excelling in both basketball and tennis. At Memphis University, Barron played four years and earned his degree in Business Administration. In 2002, the Tigers, coached by John Calipari, won the NIT. Barron shot 11-of-14 in the championship game against South Carolina. His senior season ended with a loss in the NCAA tournament to Arizona State.
Not drafted out of college, Barron began his professional career in Turkey, before moving back to the states to play for two NBA Developmental League teams. In 2006, Barron finally broke into the NBA with the Miami Heat. In three seasons in South Beach, Barron never averaged more than 20 minutes per game. He did, however, win a championship ring alongside Dwyane Wade in 2006.
After another stint in the D-League, Barron joined the New York Knicks late in the 2009-10 season. In seven games with the Knicks, Barron averaged a double-double, scoring 11.7 points and grabbing 11 rebounds per game.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Barron: