The Dallas Mavericks will be returning a handful of veterans again this season, including fan-favorite, J.J. Barea. What things should we be looking forward to and what should we be watching out for?
J.J. Barea has been a favorite Dallas Maverick by many fans ever since his incredible play during the 2010-11 NBA Playoffs. Barea is now 33 years old and starting to enter the downhill slope for his career. That does not mean that he is without value, though.
When it comes to veterans, you usually know what to expect. Their playing style has already been established and the leadership they bring to the team is known as well. Not a lot changes from year to year when you carry the same vets from contract to contract.
Some things will change, however, and the Dallas Mavericks infusion of youth, especially at the point guard position, is evidence of that as Barea now will likely lose significant minutes and take on more of a mentoring role.
Most people are obviously aware that Dennis Smith Jr. is going to be a much better basketball player than J.J. Barea in the long run, but that does not mean that he can’t learn from him. Here are just a few things to keep an eye out for with Barea in 2017-18.
Barea is still one of the vocal leaders on the team and having him as the potential third string option at point guard should make Dallas feel pretty good about the depth at that position. Although this isn’t specifically good for Barea, it will make things better for the team overall.
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Barea will also get a chance to work with Dennis Smith Jr., something that should be a cool experience for the veteran. Junior has more athletic ability than Barea has probably ever even dreamed of, but that does not mean that the kid doesn’t have things to learn from Barea. This could be a fun pair and hopefully we are able to see growth from both players.
As mentioned above, Barea’s minutes are destined to diminish this season. This may be a good thing for the Mavs, but it will be sad to see him on the bench more regularly than before. His role as the energizer will still be there, but Dennis Smith Jr. and Yogi Ferrell now bring even more energy than Barea.
Although the lack of minutes should bode well for his injury history,it still seems wrong to have a guy like Barea on the bench a lot. Carlisle may be switching things up thanks to his love for the veterans and the trust he already has for Barea, but I would still expect to see him and Devin Harris splitting a lot of that veteran time.
It is no secret that an injury concern comes with J.J. Barea. What used to be a guy who could take being clotheslined by an immature player or even a shot to the ribs in midair by a sad excuse for a man, has now become someone who struggles to keep his body intact for an entire season.
Bare was unable to stay healthy almost the entirety of last season and had some previously nagging injuries the season before. I would love nothing more than to see Barea healthy for an entire season, but there is just no guarantee for that anymore.
Only time will tell what Barea does this season, but overall it looks like his role as a key bench player might be dissipating while his task of mentoring may see an increase. Either way, we are happy to have J.J. Barea back in a Mavs uniform for another season.