30 Greatest Dallas Mavericks players in franchise history

Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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15. J.J. Barea

The Mavericks do not win the 2011 championship without Barea. The 5’10 point guard played stout defense against LeBron James, and inserting him into the starting lineup changed the series. Nobody thought the Mavs would win coming in as the “Big 3” Miami Heat waited on the other side, but it was Dirk Nowitzki, Barea, and the Mavs who got the final laugh and kept King James from his first championship for another year.

His performance in the 2011 NBA Finals alone makes him an all-time great Maverick, but Barea has also played the fifth most games in franchise history.

He went undrafted in 2006 and fought his way onto the Mavs roster. The 5’10 point guard was on the deep bench for the first two years before taking over as the backup point guard. Over the next three years, Barea became an offensive weapon. His ability to attack the basket and run pick-and-rolls for the second unit was massive.

J.J. Barea left after the 2011 championship, but he returned in 2014 for another six seasons with his first franchise. Jose Juan continued to make an impact through his final season as he became more mentor to Luka Doncic than a player over the last two years. Barea is a Mavericks legend, and there is a case for him ranking higher on this list.