Longtime Mavericks guard J.J. Barea will, as expected, be a Dallas Maverick for yet another year.
Per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Barea signed a one-year. veteran’s minimum deal to return to Dallas. The guard’s 2018-19 season was cut short when he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in a mid-January game against the Timberwolves. MacMahon goes on to say he’s expected to be ready for this year’s training camp.
Though medical advances are certainly better every day, this is an injury most NBA players never fully return from. The Mavericks certainly have plenty of experience with this — it was the exact injury suffered by Wesley Matthews right before he came to the Mavericks a few years back. Though Matthews was effective in spots, he never quite re-attained his previous level of play.
Obviously, the hope is that Barea will be able to slot back in to his role as the engine that powered a second unit that was a bright spot last season before he went down. With the promising rookie year from Jalen Brunson and the addition of Delon Wright, minutes at the PG spot will be highly contested. However, if Barea can play with the same efficiency as he was last year, when he was having a career season at age 34, Mavs fans will still be seeing plenty of the veteran this year.
Whether this is the beginning of a renaissance or one last year to properly end a career, hard to say — but I know we all hope Barea comes back blazing.