DECEMBER 10: The Mavericks have officially waived Barea, the team announced in a press release.
Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, general manager Donnie Nelson called it a “sad day in Mavs-ville,” referring to Barea as the longtime “heart and soul” of the club (Twitter link via Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News).
MacMahon reports that team owner Marc Cuban was aware the Mavericks would most likely release Barea after inking him to a one-year, $2.56MM veteran’s minimum contract last month, but desired to extend him an offer as a reward for the 5’10” Barea’s 11-year tenure with Dallas.
The 36-year-old Barea will now look for a new home in the league, per MacMahon. MacMahon also notes that Cuban hopes to find an organizational position for Barea once his playing career concludes. The Mavericks had 16 players on guaranteed contracts for their 15-man regular season roster, and waiving Barea made the most basketball sense, per Bobby Marks of ESPN (via Twitter).
Between the younger Jalen Brunson and Trey Burke, the Mavericks clearly felt secure enough in their backup point guard rotation behind All-Star lead ball handler Luka Dončić. Just last week, Rick Carlisle cited Barea’s locker room leadership as the club’s motivation to bring him back.
Last season for Dallas, Barea averaged 7.7 PPG and 3.9 APG in 15.5 MPG across 29 regular-season games. The 2019/20 season marked Barea’s return from a torn Achilles tendon incurred in January 2019.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.