Mavs JJ Barea: Season In Review
On October 29th, 2014 J.J. Barea signed with the Dallas Mavericks for his second stint with the team. Barea, who left after the 2010-2011 championship season, was brought in to help bolster the Mavs backcourt that, despite the presence at the time of Jameer Nelson, would prove to be without a true floor general early in the season. The fan favorite, who was best known for his decimation of the Lakers in the second round of the 2010-2011 playoffs, spent a good portion of the season as a part of the revolving door at the point guard position.
Barea earned his part-time starting spot with the departure of Rajon Rondo, and helped re-energize the Mavs during their short playoff stint.
For the regular season, Barea averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 assists in 17.7 minutes per game. In the playoffs however, Barea stepped up for the Mavs, averaging 11.8 points and 7.4 assists in 30.8 minutes per game. Barea’s impact was felt far beyond the numbers, however. As seen in the video below, the eight-year veteran out of Puerto Rico provided energy, leadership, and scoring punch that was key in the Mavericks playoff efforts.
After coming through in the clutch as a surprise spot starter in the 2011 NBA Finals, no one should be surprised that JJB gave it his all in this postseason ...
Heading into the 2015 offseason, the Northeastern alum is an unrestricted free agent. While the Mavs have bigger fish to fry in regards to signing free agents this summer, interest has been expressed on both sides for J.J.’s return to Dallas.
It's worth noting that Barea is openly acknowledging that while his 2011 departure was a (justifiable) money chase, he's now at the point in his career where "fit'' is as important as "finance.'' Do you give him a piece of the MLE? Can he and Aminu be kept with big slices from that same pie? The idea of "$2 or $3 mil a year'' sounds affordable ... in a vacuum. The Mavs cannot yet know if they have $3 mil a year available.
So while it is uncertain if the two sides will be able to come to agreeable terms, his knowledge of Rick Carlisle’s offensive system, as well as the chemistry he has with his fellow teammates, will certainly give him an edge over other prospective guards this offseason.
"I want to. I want to and hopefully this time we make it work,” Barea said when asked about his potential return to Dallas. “It feels like home for me here in Dallas so hopefully I can come back and finish my career here for the next couple of years.”
The initial plan for JJB had him buried pretty deep on the depth chart; he was excess baggage in Minnesota and made available for that reason. Add it all up and this is a success story. DallasBasketabll.com Season Grade: B.
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