J.J. Barea

J.J. Barea wants to go back to the Mavs

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Jose Juan Barea is going to get a lot of offers in free agency. That’s what happens when you’re the spark plug on the championship team. Barea does what he does very well. He manages the offense, hits some shots, and if you lose him for a minute, bam, he’s backdoor and you’ve given up two points.

But the Mavericks want him back, because of his contribution to the championship run, and for his part, Barea says he wants to oblige them… for the right price. From ESPN.com:

During a brief phone conversation Friday with Barea, who is in the Dominican Republic before he returns to Dallas next week, he reiterated that he hopes to again be playing for Dallas and that the ball is in the Mavs court. “I always said thats my first option,” Barea said. “I did my job last year.” He said he is not necessarily chasing the highest offer or a starting job, saying, “I just want what I deserve.”

via J.J. Barea: Ball in Mavs court – Dallas Mavericks Blog – ESPN Dallas.

That’s code for “I’d like the money, thanks.” But maybe not. Maybe the Mavericks will offer something reasonable and he’ll return for the chemistry and a shot at the title again.

But there will be offers. Most notably from the Heat. But surely Barea will pull in more than the mid-level, which is the Heat’s only real option for a signing, and they also need a wing like Shane Battier, and a center. The bigger issue may be that Barea’s likely not worth a very large offer. He’s higher in this class based off of his performance in the playoffs, but he’s still a criminally small guard who can only play off the bench. His story is a great one, coming from the D-League and Puerto Rico and winning the Finals as a huge component for the Mavericks.

You just have to be careful. After all, we just had the lockout and all.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.