REPORT: Mavs planning to re-sign JJ Barea for next season
JJ Barea has spent 11 of his 14 NBA seasons so far with the Dallas Mavericks. Now, Mark Cuban and Co. reportedly want to bring the fan favorite back for a 12th, per Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.
A source tells me that despite recent-day guard additions, the Mavs plan for fan-favorite @jjbareapr to return for his 12th Mavericks season — as a player. That indicates to me that another guard could be on the move, but don't hold me to that part. Just looking at it logically.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) November 21, 2020
Obviously, this isn’t a move that puts Dallas over the top as legitimate title contenders by any means. The 36-year-old may not have a sizable role with the team if he indeed sticks with the Mavs. Dallas acquired and drafted several guards this 2020 off-season thus far. However, Dallas certainly sees a lot of value with what Barea brings as a veteran presence in the locker room.
JJ Barea didn’t see much time on the court for the Mavs this past 2019-20 campaign. He appeared in just 29 games, averaging 7.7 points and 3.9 assists in just 15.5 minutes per outing.
He has also expressed his frustration that he didn’t get the opportunity to contribute in Dallas’ return to the playoffs last season. Barea made it clear that he wants to continue on with his basketball career. However, he is well aware that if he indeed returns to the Mavs, he may not be able to play that much.
“I still want to play basketball; I feel like I can still play basketball,” Barea said in an interview with El Nuevo Dia.
“I don’t know exactly where. If it is going to be in Dallas, I know what they want is to move me to coach. If I want to play basketball, I have to go the other way,” he added.
Nonetheless, Barea could probably come to terms that his days as a high-impact guard off the bench are closing and that much of his value comes from mentoring and teaching these young Mavs.
Barea was a major contributor for Dallas in their historic 2011 championship win that saw them take down the Miami Heat Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Puerto Rican guard started in the last three games of that Finals series, wherein Dallas won all three to claim their first title in franchise history. In those three matches, Barea turned in averages of 13.3 points and 4.7 assists while shooting 50.0 percent from the field.
With the modern-day Mavs, led by superstar Luka Doncic, looking to vault into championship contention as soon as next season, Barea can still make an impact as a reassuring voice.