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.
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.
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.