J.J. Barea is a pest.
In Dallas – where the 5-foot-10 guard has spent 11 of his 14 NBA seasons playing for the Mavericks – that’s a compliment.
In Miami – where Barea tormented the Heat during the 2011 NBA Finals – and many other NBA cities, that’s an insult.
But every NBA team will be partially responsible for a gift Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gave Barea.
Dallas signing the 36-year-old Barea to a guaranteed contract never made much sense. He’d put the Mavericks over the regular-season limit of 15 standard contracts. And Dallas was set at point guard with Luka Doncic, Trey Burke, Jalen Brunson and Tyrell Terry. Barea looked like the player most likely to get cut.
Which was apparently the whole point.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Filed to ESPN — Sources: Mavs plan to release J.J. Barea on Thursday. Mark Cuban knew this move was likely when Barea signed a 1-year, $2.6M deal last week but wanted to reward him for his impact over 11 years with Mavs. Barea, 36, still hopes to play in NBA this season.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 9, 2020
Sources: Mavs plan to sign Courtney Lee to replace J.J. Barea on camp roster. Like Barea, Lee was considered a leader and great vet in Dallas locker room despite not being in regular rotation last season. Mavs value that kind of presence even though Lee is roster long shot.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 10, 2020
The NBA’s minimum salary increases with experience. To prevent teams from avoiding more-expensive veterans, the NBA reimburses teams that sign players with more than two years of experience to one-season minimum-salary contracts.
In Barea’s case, he’ll get the minimum salary for someone with at least 10 years experience ($2,564,753). The Mavericks will be on the hook for two-year-experience minimum ($1,620,564). The league will reimburse Dallas for the rest ($944,189).
That $944,189 comes from a league-wide fund that each team contributes to equally. So, the other 29 teams are each covering $31,473 of Barea’s sendoff (likely into retirement).
Including their share of the league-wide fund, the Mavericks will pay $1,652,037. But when wanting to reward Barea, that’s a bargain considering the actual amount of money that will flow to him over the next three years.*
*Contracts with one year and more than $250,000 guaranteed remaining are paid out over three years when the player is waived.