The Dallas Mavericks waived J.J. Barea during training camp. They wanted a younger more athletic wing option for their final roster this season, but it was difficult saying goodbye to a Mavericks legend. It was an emotional farewell for all involved, and it did not take Barea long to find a new home.
He wanted to keep playing, so J.J. signed with Estudiantes in Spain. He played his first game on Feb. 3. It took a couple of contests for Barea to get settled in with his new teams, but the veteran is showcasing his talent.
The Mavs legend is coming off arguably his best game of the season. That makes it eight straight contests where Barea has played well. Here is a closer look at his recent run and what it could mean for his playing future.
Dallas Mavericks legend J.J. Barea is heating up in Spain
Estudiantes battled MoraBanc Andorra in their most recent game on March 29. It was a back and forth clash that went to overtime. Barea was not about to let his team falter. He scored ten points in the extra session including two clutch 3-pointers to lift Estudiantes to victory.
J.J. finished with 20 points and seven assists to lift his team to their third victory in his last four games played.
Barea has ten games under his belt with Estudiantes. It was a bit rocky out of the gate, but over his last eight contests, he has averaged 14.8 points, 5.5 assists, and 1.3 steals on 44.8 percent shooting from the field. Barea is a master of the pick and roll, and he is proving he can still make plays at an elite level.
The 36-year-old wants to return to the NBA. He made that clear before accepting an offer to play in Spain. Barea has an NBA opt-out in his current contract. Will some team give him a shot down the stretch? If the veteran continues to make noise with Estudiantes his chances only increase. An NBA team looking to stabilize their second unit could give Barea a chance for the veteran minimum.
Dallas Mavericks fans will be rooting for J.J. Barea wherever his journey takes him. Do not be surprised to see him back with the Mavs in short order. Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest.