J.J. Barea

One of the more interesting test cases going into the offseason are the Golden State Warriors, in an attempt to build on last season’s success and upgrading without a lot of cap-room to do it. Their next move, so it seems, is adding a backup point guard, with J.J. Barea of the Minnesota Timberwolves looking like the best option.

One of the problems the Warriors had going into the offseason was cap-space and the inability to compete with the rest of the league for Jarrett Jack (who left to the Cleveland Cavaliers) and Carl Landry (who signed with the Sacrmaneto Kings).

The Warriors have come to terms with big-man Marreese Speights, but it’s still not quite clear how it’s going to be done. The Warriors can either use their mid-level exception on Speights, signing him on a $3 million-per season deal, more or less, or try and complete a sign & trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jarrett Jack, thus allowing the Warriors to keep open the mid-level exception to other free agents.

While they figure that one out, there’s still the backup point guard role to be filled. Jack was much more than simple resting minutes for Stephen Curry. The Warriors used a lot of 3-guard looks last season, and Jack played in crunch time most of the season. He averaged just under 30 minutes a game during the regular season, and was even more important in the playoffs, scoring 17.2 points per game on 35 minutes a night.

That’s starting point-guard numbers, and the Warriors don’t really have much of a selection among free agents to pick from. But how about trades? With the Minnesota Timberwolves trying to shop J.J. Barea, a decent option for the Warriors does become available.

Thanks to the deal sending both Biedrins and Jefferson to the Utah Jazz, the Warriors have plenty of money available in trade exceptions, and Barea, who makes $9.1 million over the next two years, can be included in such a deal.

He averaged 11.3 points and 4 assists last season for the Timberwolves playing 23 minutes a game. He played a very big part for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals, scoring 17 and 15 points in games 5 & 6 against the Miami Heat.

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