Season in Review
For the 11th time in his 14 year career, J.J. Barea laced ‘em up for the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 15.5 minutes per game last season, which should sound like a lot. This number looks so high because Barea only played in 29 games this season, the least of his career. He only played 405 total minutes, which was still more than Courtney Lee or Boban Marjanovic played. He averaged 7.7 points per game, the first time he’s averaged single-digits since rejoining the Mavericks for the 2014-15 season. Maybe the most interesting thing from his stat-sheet: Barea shot a career-high 90.9 percent from the free throw line (disregard that he only shot 22 free throws).
Coming off a torn Achilles, expectations were low for Barea. However, injuries pressed him into service more and more as the season moved along and he played reasonably well.
With Luka Doncic and Kristpas Porzingis taking a DNP to avoid playing in a back-to-back, the Mavericks gave Barea the starting nod against the Jazz. He scored 18 points in the game, the most he’s scored since December 2018. He also had eight assists in the game, creating perhaps the most unique pick-and-roll duo in league history by tossing dimes to Marjanović.
To remain a Maverick this past season, Barea signed a 1-year/$2,564,753 minimum contract. This off-season, he will be an unrestricted free agent. While many of us may have expected him to retire this off-season, there have been recent developments saying otherwise.
After an entire season figuring this was likely the last season for Barea, the 36 year old believes there’s still plenty of gas in the tank. A quote surfaced shortly after the Mavericks off-season ended where Barea was clearly frustrated with his role:
“I still want to play basketball; I feel like I can still play basketball, ” said Barea. “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.
The idea of Barea leaving the Mavericks is beginning to pick up steam with El Nuevo Dia reporting that three Liga ACB teams are interested in the point guard. Unfortunately, the Dallas Mavericks are no longer in a position to shell out contracts just to keep someone on their bench. As much as I’d love for Barea to apart of this team’s future, there seems to be little left for him on the court. As the Mavericks enter a critical stretch of making themselves into title contenders, every dollar counts. If they are going to use that money on a player, it’s going to be on someone they know can contribute. As Barea’s minutes average has lowered for three straight seasons, it unfortunately doesn’t look like that will be him.