Due to family-related commitments, veteran guard J.J. Barea had to leave Spanish club Estudiantes before the team’s season formally ends, he announced on Instagram (hat tip to Sportando). Barea signed back in January to spent the season in Spain after being waived by Dallas in December.
Reports earlier this year indicated that Barea’s contract with Estudiantes included an NBA out and that he remained “determined” to make it back to the NBA. Teams technically have until Sunday to sign free agents, and Barea would be postseason-eligible if he returns, but there has been no indication so far that an NBA club intends to sign him.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the league:
- The NBA has formally announced the start times for its Saturday and Sunday games. There was reportedly some consideration given to having all of Sunday’s games start around the same time in the afternoon to avoid last-minute tanking, but logistical concerns – including those related to COVID testing – prevented that from happening. Most of Sunday’s games will tip off in the evening.
- The NBA and NBPA announced on Wednesday that only one of the 497 players tested for COVID-19 since May 5 returned a new confirmed positive test. That’s an encouraging result with the playoffs around the corner — it’s the lowest weekly total among players since April 7-14.
- Speaking of the playoffs and COVID-19, the NBA is still weighing how to handle positive tests in the postseason to avoid the risk of potential spread, according to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, who says the league has discussed the possibility of delaying postseason games if necessary.
- ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton (Insider link) have updated their future power rankings, which rank the NBA’s teams based on their projected success for the next three seasons beyond 2020/21. The Nets and Clippers sit atop the list, with the Knicks moving all the way up from No. 27 to No. 7. The Cavaliers continue to hold the bottom spot, while the Timberwolves have slipped to No. 29.