Raymond Felton knows the reality of his NBA career at this point — he could barely get off the bench for the Dallas Mavericks this past season. That’s a team that took stock of its point guard situation and decided to trade some quality assets to roll the dice on Rajon Rondo (that roll came up snake eyes).
Felton also is smart and wants to get paid next year, so he is picking up his option to stay in Dallas, reports Shams Charania of Real GM.
Dallas Mavericks guard Raymond Felton will file paperwork to exercise his $3.9 million player option for the 2015-16 season, league sources told RealGM.
This was expected and his only good option. If he had opted out into the free agent market he likely would have been eventually picked up on a minimum contract, maybe even non-guaranteed, and been a limited use backup or third point guard somewhere.
The 10-year veteran can make some plays — he hit a game winner this season — and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle praised his professionalism. He was limited early in the season by a couple ankle sprains and just never got much into the rotation for the Mavericks, playing in only 29 regular season games.
Because he picks up his option does not mean he will be back with the Mavericks next season. That is a very tradable sized contract, one that can be tacked on to a larger deal potentially, or moved in another way. Whatever the Mavericks look like next season Felton is not going to be a major part of the plans (if he is, well, I feel for Mavs fans).
But he is going to get paid.
J.J. Barea helped the Mavericks win the 2011 title, signed a four-year, $18 million contract with the Timberwolves and then mostly disappointed in Minnesota.
The Timberwolves tried to trade him but settled for buying him out. Barea signed a minimum contract with Dallas, where his production rebounded, most notably in the playoffs once the Mavericks ditched Rajon Rondo.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
A source said Barea is hoping to sign a two- or three-year deal that would pay an annual salary in the $3 million range.
The Mavs will undoubtedly have a hometown advantage in the Barea contract discussions this summer. He doesn’t attempt to deny that.
“I want to [come back], and hopefully this time we make it work,” Barea said. “I had a lot of fun this year. I enjoyed being back. It feels like home for me here in Dallas, so hopefully I can come back and finish my career here for the next couple years.”
Barea might be worth that much to Dallas, but I’m not sure he has the leverage to get it.
The Mavericks will probably have their eye on bigger free agents like DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge (and Chandler Parsons’ help to lure them). That might not leave room for Barea.
And I’m not sure Barea will get competitive offers elsewhere. He fits Rick Carlisle’s scheme, but Barea’s Minnesota experience suggests other teams might not know how to use the 6-foot score-first point guard with major defensive limitations.
If Dallas plays hardball, Barea might have to settle for another minimum contract or 120 percent of the minimum, which the Mavericks can give through Non-Bird Rights (technically a form of Bird Rights). Maybe Barea could push for the $2,814,000 room exception, but even that might be pushing it.
The Mavericks and Rajon Rondo agreed to a mutual parting of ways after he seemed to quit on on his team early in the second half of a first-round playoff game against the Rockets.
The Dallas organization, clearly not pleased with how the midseason acquisition of Rondo transpired, seemed to stick it to him on his way out the door by excluding him from the customary distribution of bonus money each club gets for making it to the postseason.
But Dirk Nowitzki says the players had nothing to do with it, and believes too much was made of the Mavericks’ decision.
From The Dallas Morning News:
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki joined KTCK-AM 1310 on Monday afternoon. Here are some highlights:
On if the team voted to not give Rajon Rondo a playoff share:
“No, we actually didn’t vote. It was just the guys who were there that day got a playoff share. What we usually do is give a lot of weight to the guys that work for you all season long; the locker room guys, the equipment guys, the trainers, the massage guys [or] whoever you feel helped you get through the season. We usually divide it up and then give them a lot of money. I think that got blown out of proportion. It’s not like it was that much money. I don’t think Rondo would have cared either way.”
The total amount the Mavericks had to distribute was $208,940, which gets fairly small individually when divided up as many ways as Nowitzki explained. And, his assertion that Rondo wouldn’t have cared seems especially true when we’re talking about professional athletes who have earned in the tens of millions of dollars.
When hearing the logistics of it how it all went down, it no longer sounds as anything that would resemble an intended slight, despite how it seems on the surface.