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Southwest Notes: Barea, Simmons, Baynes

Wesley Matthews saw his four-year deal with the Mavericks spike from around $13MM a year to a max contract worth $16,407,500 this season and $70,060,025 total when DeAndre Jordan reneged on his deal to play for Dallas, and Matthews isn’t the only one to benefit financially from that flip-flop. The Mavs upped their deal with J.J. Barea from two years and roughly $5.7MM to four years and $16MM before the point guard officially re-signed today, reports Tim MacMahon of (Twitter link). The move means the Mavs have less cap flexibility but get to keep their $2.814MM room exception, which initially seemed ticketed for Barea’s original deal. In any case, Barea is sticking around.

“They knew I wanted to be there for a long time,” Barea said to MacMahon (Twitter link). “They wanted me there for a long time, so we made it happen.” 

Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • Guard Jonathon Simmons wows with his athleticism, but he hadn’t had as much as an invitation to an NBA training camp since going undrafted in 2012 until the Spurs agreed to sign him to a two-year contract with a fully guaranteed salary for this season, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. McDonald chronicles the unlikely ascension of the former Spurs D-Leaguer.
  • The Spurs lost out on Aron Baynes, who signed a deal reportedly worth as much as $20MM over three years with Detroit, and Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy cited Baynes’ free-throw percentage as one unconventional reason why the team was willing to pay him. Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press has the details. “Free-throw shooting, obviously, was a problem for us last year, next-to-last in the league, and Aron’s the best free throw-shooting big out there,” Van Gundy said. “Eighty-five percent at the line last year, that’s a huge thing for us in games, especially coming down the stretch. So that was also a big thing — maybe bigger for us than for other people with big guys.” Baynes actually hit 86.5% of his free throws last season, better than Van Gundy indicated, and he’s a career 84.7% shooter from the stripe.
  • Russ Smith picked up a $150K partial guarantee on his salary this season with the Grizzlies when he remained on the roster through Wednesday, as the schedule of salary guarantee dates shows.

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