J.J. Barea

One of the many free agents the Dallas Mavericks have to decide this offseason is J.J. Barea, who is hoping he doesn’t have to once again leave a team he loves playing for, like after winning the championship in 2011.

Barea was one of a number of moves by Mark Cuban that dismantled the championship team, the first ever for the Mavs. Barea was excellent in that finals series against the Miami Heat, but got a nice offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves, giving him a four year deal before waiving him just before the beginning of this season. Barea went back to Dallas, signing for a veteran’s minimum.

One of two backup point guards, Barea averaged 7.5 points in 17.7 minutes a night, his lowest minute per game number since the 2007-2008 season, his second in the league. He’ll hit 31 this summer, and the Puerto Rican guard who has been in the league since 2006 isn’t really looking forward to leaving again, even if he got a bigger role and slightly more money when playing in Minnesota.

What will it take to keep him in Dallas? A call from Mark Cuban, of course, and also a deal that’s more than just one season, probably looking for a two or three year contract on $3 million a season. For a high energy guy who usually does more harm than good when he’s on the floor and doesn’t shy away from taking big shots late in the game if he’s actually on the floor at the time, that sounds like a good deal.

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