J.J. Barea

Western Notes: Capela, Brunson, Kings, Roberson

Clint Capela‘s thumb injury could cost him a $2MM bonus, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes. The Rockets center has a 2,000-minute criteria tied into the team reaching the Western Conference Finals and for a defensive rebounding percentage above 30%. He has another bonus for attempting 150 or more free throws and a free throw percentage above 65%. He is currently shooting 62.6% from the line. Through 42 games, Capela has played 1,436 minutes. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks rookie Jalen Brunson and veteran Devin Harris will pick up the minutes vacated by backup point guard J.J. Barea, who suffered a torn Achilles on Friday, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. Brunson played 30 minutes against the Warriors on Sunday but Harris will see his role expand as well. “He’s going to be ready and he’s going to be there for us,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Harris.
  • Kings assistant coaches under Dave Joerger are having their options for next season picked up by the front office, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets. That group includes Bryan Gates, Elston Turner, Bob Thornton, Jason March, Duane Ticknor, Larry Lewis, Bobby Jackson, Phil Ricci and Dan Hartfield. It’s a way of aligning the contracts of the staff with Joerger’s deal. The surprising Kings are currently a game above .500.
  • Kings GM Vlade Divac warned members of the executive board to stop meddling in the team’s affairs, Sam Amick of USA Today reports. Divac made the pronouncement during a conference call with 13 members of the  executive board, along with lead owner Vivek Ranadive. Divac has been frustrated by internal complaints and used the forum to demand respect, Amick adds.
  • Thunder shooting guard Andre Roberson remains sidelined indefinitely, coach Billy Donovan told Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman and other media members. “He’s worked hard, he’s doing all he needs to do but he’s still in the rehab process.”  Roberson suffered a season-ending left knee injury last January and suffered a setback in late November when an MRI revealed an avulsion fracture in the knee.

Mavericks Apply For Disabled Player Exception

The Mavericks have applied for a disabled player exception after J.J. Barea underwent season-ending surgery on his torn right Achilles, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

If a player is seriously injured, his team can request a disabled player exception to replace him. In order for the exception to be granted, an NBA-designated physician must determine that the player is “substantially more likely than not” to be sidelined through at least June 15. If granted, the disabled player exception allows a club to sign a replacement player for 50% of the injured player’s salary, or for the amount of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception, whichever is lesser.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Disabled Player Exception]

In Barea’s case, the exception would be modest — 50% of his $3,710,850 salary works out to just $1,855,425. Still, their request will likely be approved and the exception would provide Dallas with one more possible path to upgrading its roster in the second half.

Unlike mid-level, bi-annual, or trade exceptions, the disabled player exception can only be used on a single player. However, a team can use it in a variety of ways — the DPE can be used to sign a free agent, to claim a player off waivers, or to acquire a player in a trade. Because it’s designed to replace an injured player for a single season, a DPE can only be used to sign or acquire a player on a rest-of-season contract.

A disabled player exception doesn’t provide a team with an extra roster spot, so the Mavericks – who are carrying a full 15-man roster – would have to create an opening in order to use it.

The deadline for teams to apply for disabled player exceptions is January 15. The Wizards, who lost John Wall for the season, appear to be the only other team with a DPE request pending. The Suns applied for one for Darrell Arthur back in the fall, but waived him a few days later, rendering them ineligible for a DPE — their request seemed unlikely to be approved anyway.

J.J. Barea Suffers Torn Right Achilles Tendon

JANUARY 14, 8:59am: Barea has undergone surgery to repair his right Achilles, the Mavs announced today in a press release. No timeline for the guard’s recovery has been established, but it’s safe to assume he won’t be back before the end of the 2018/19 season.

JANUARY 12, 1:44pm: An MRI has revealed that Barea did indeed suffer a torn right Achilles, per a tweet from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. Doctors and the team are still evaluating the severity of the injury.

JANUARY 12, 10:56am: The Mavericks fear that sixth-man J.J. Barea suffered a season-ending torn right Achilles in the team’s 119-115 win over the Timberwolves on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

Barea suffered the injury with 6:28 left in regulation as he cut to the basket for a layup. The point guard hit the hardwood and immediately grabbed his right Achilles before being helped to the locker room. Barea finished the win with 16 points and seven assists.

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle confirmed that Barea would undergo an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of the injury. While the Mavericks reportedly fear a torn Achilles, the team categorized Barea’s injury as a “lower right leg injury.”

The 34-year-old is in his 13th NBA season, averaging 10.9 PPG and 5.6 APG for Dallas. Barea has become a fan favorite with the Mavericks having spent 1o of his 13 seasons with the team after he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He was part of Dallas’ 2011 NBA championship-winning team.

MacMahon noted that Barea, whose contract expires at season’s end, wants to play at least two more years after the current campaign. A torn Achilles would likely delay his start to the 2019/20 season.

Texas Notes: Nowitzki, Barea, Carter-Williams, Forbes

Dirk Nowitzki will see limited minutes for the rest of the season and may not play at all in some games, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Nowitzki hasn’t made much of an impact in his 21st NBA season. He missed the first 26 games because of surgery on his left ankle and has played 10.3 minutes per night since his return, averaging 3.6 points and 1.8 rebounds.

Rick Carlisle, who has coached Nowitzki for the past 11 seasons, broke the news to the long-time Mavericks star during Friday’s shootaround.

“We talked about it and handled it like grown men,” Nowitzki said. “Just keeping open communication. No hurt feelings. Just play it by ear and see how the games are going, see how the flow is going.”

There’s more NBA news from the Lone Star State:

  • Mavericks guard J.J. Barea is considering his surgery options after suffering a season-ending injury last night, relays Dwain Price of Mavs.com. An MRI showed that Barea ruptured his right Achilles tendon after hitting a layup in the fourth quarter of a victory in Minnesota. The team plans further updates once surgery plans are finalized. With a prolonged recovery time, the injury will limit free agency options this summer for the 13-year veteran, who is making $3.71MM this season.
  • The Rockets traded Michael Carter-Williams to the Bulls for an inevitable trip to the waiver wire this week, and he had two backcourt partners who could sympathize, writes Hunter Atkins of The Houston Chronicle. Austin Rivers and Brandon Knight went through similar experiences, appearing headed for stardom as lottery picks, but eventually changing teams multiple times. “Your career, or where you end up, a lot of times we don’t dictate those things, right?” Knight said. “Things can change very quickly. We’ve all been on different teams, different situations, and we just happened to land here.”
  • Spurs guard Bryn Forbes took a long, unusual road to becoming an NBA starter, notes Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. He is one of six undrafted players currently occupying starting roles, as teams overlooked him in 2016 following his senior season at Michigan State. He also spent most of his first year in the G League before earning an opportunity, but nothing shook his confidence. “I think, one way or another,” he said, “I would have found a way.” 

Atlantic Notes: Butler, Russell, Raptors, Wanamaker

Sixers coach Brett Brown is defending Jimmy Butler, saying he wasn’t disrespectful when he questioned the way he’s being used in the offense, according to an Associated Press story. ESPN reported Friday that Butler has “aggressively challenged” Brown since being acquired from the Timberwolves in November and has “tenuous” chemistry with fellow stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Meeting with reporters before tonight’s game, Brown tried to calm the situation.

“I didn’t feel like any of that crossed the line,” he said of Butler’s comments. “He’s vocal. He’s all in and he has opinions, but it’s instigated by me. None of this should surprise anybody. He’s got opinions. He wants to be heard. And he should be heard.”

Butler missed the game with a respiratory infection and wasn’t available for comment. He reportedly wants to be utilized more often in pick-and-roll situations, which aren’t a standard part of Brown’s offense.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard D’Angelo Russell has improved significantly during his second season in Brooklyn, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Russell, who is averaging career highs with 18.2 points and 6.4 assists per game, is headed for restricted free agency this summer but indicated a desire to stay with the Nets. “We’re winning,” he said. “I haven’t won a lot in this league, so for me to get that type of success, I’m going to stick with it.”
  • As Kyle Lowry missed his sixth straight game tonight with back trouble, the Raptors are looking for another playmaker before next month’s trade deadline, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. He states the best target would be the Timberwolves’ Jeff Teague, who isn’t being shopped but has become more expendable with productive seasons from Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones. Other possibilities include the Mavericks’ J.J. Barea or Devin Harris and the Hawks’ Jeremy Lin.
  • Brad Wanamaker was as surprised as anyone when Celtics coach Brad Stevens told him to check in during the first quarter last night, relays Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. It was the 15th game of the season for the 29-year-old rookie, but most of his time has come late in games that were already decided. He responded with a pair of 3-pointers to help Boston build a lead. “The key word is challenging,” Wanamaker said. “I’m just trying to stay mentally prepared. I’m getting a lot of feedback from my family, friends, just saying, ‘Stay ready.’”

Southwest Notes: Mavericks, Conley, White

In what is a surprise to many, the Mavericks are the current kings of Texas, having jumped out to a strong 13-11 start. As Brad Townsend writes for SportsDay Dallas, the additions of Luka Doncic and DeAndre Jordan have helped boost the Mavericks from the lottery to the playoff picture.

Doncic has been sensational as a rookie, averaging 18.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while hitting several clutch shots down the stretch of games. Jordan has improved the Mavericks’ rebounding and has provided an interior presence that the team has lacked in recent years.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks’ bench has been very successful, as J.J. Barea and Dwight Powell have played well in their specified roles. With Rick Carlisle at the helm, the Mavericks appear to be a very competitive team this season that has a good chance of sneaking into the playoffs.

There’s more from the Southwest division:

  • Mike Conley is struggling with a dislocated finger, which hampered his play against the Lakers last week. As David Cobb reveals for Commercial Appeal, Conley had trouble holding the ball, which obviously isn’t a good thing for the Grizzlies‘ leading guard. Conley believes the swelling and discomfort will improve in the coming days.
  • Derrick White continues to work on regaining his confidence and comfort after coming back from injury earlier this season. Jabari Young of The Athletic details the support that White has received from the Spurs‘ coaching staff and some of his teammates as he looks to make his mark in the Spurs’ depleted backcourt.
  • A recent Southwest notes post detailed Dirk Nowitzki‘s upcoming return to action, how the addition of Joakim Noah impacts other bigs on the Grizzlies roster and much more.

Mavs Notes: Jordan, Marion, Doncic, Mejri, Barea

As part of an ongoing series in anticipation of Mavericks training camp starting later this month, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News asks whether newly-acquired All-Star big man DeAndre Jordan is on the downslope of his career.

Now a 10-year veteran, Jordan actually averaged 12.0 points and a career-best 15.2 rebounds per game last season for the Clippers, but the team did not perform well, finishing 10th in the always tough Western Conference. Moreover, Jordan’s field goal percentage of .645, while still excellent, was his lowest output since the the 2012/13 season.

While it remains to be seen if Jordan’s game is on the decline, the Mavericks at least somewhat hedged their bet by only signing Jordan to a one-year contract for the 2018/19 season, which will allow the club opportunity to see how Jordan meshes with relative youngsters Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic and Harrison Barnes.

If Jordan ends up descending into the twilight of his career, the Mavs can simply let him go next summer. But if he can continue to average a double-double and be near the top of the NBA in rebounds and field goal percentage again this season, Sefko opines that the Mavericks will gladly re-sign Jordan next summer at whatever price tag is needed.

There’s more from Dallas:

  • Now that the 2018 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class has been enshrined in Springfield, Joe Nguyen of The Denver Post takes a look at some candidates for election next year. Among the first time candidates is do-it-all forward Shawn Marion, who helped the Mavericks win an NBA Championship in 2011.
  • In an appearance on KRLD-FM, Dirk Nowitzki (per Sportando) presented a glowing endorsement of Doncic, admitting that the Slovenian rookie is better than Dirk was at the same age. “Oh yeah (he’s better). I could shoot a little bit but I never had the court vision … the savviness that he brings to the game… He’s going to be fun to watch especially with bigs like DeAndre (Jordan) and Dwight (Powell) rolling to the rim … He’s going to pick defenses apart and it’s going to be fun to watch.”
  • In another piece for The Dallas Morning News, Sefko profiles big man Salah Mejri and his role on the Mavs this upcoming season. Mejri, 32, signed a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum this offseason. And even though the addition of Jordan won’t do any favors for Mejri’s playing time, the Tunisian big man will be ready to play when needed, as always.
  • In yet another player profile piece, Sefko opines that backup point guard J.J. Barea may be one of the most underrated Mavericks of all time. Barring injury, Barea will later this season become the seventh player in Mavs history to play in 600 games with the franchise.

Southwest Rumors: Gasol, Nowitzki, Lauvergne, Finney-Smith

Spurs center Pau Gasol hopes to play for Spain in the FIBA World Cup next summer, according to a Sportando report. Gasol told the Spanish website El Dia he’ll wait until after the NBA season to make a final decision whether he’ll play for his home country as it attempts to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. “I am about to turn 39,” Gasol said. “I love playing with the national team and I would like to continue, and qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and help the team with my presence, if I am physically well my belief and my wish is to be in the World Cup.”

We have more from around the Southwest Division:

  • Dirk Nowitzki scrimmaged with his Mavericks teammates for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery in April, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. Coach Rick Carlisle said Nowitzki should be available for training camp, which opens September 21, Sefko continues. Lottery pick Luka Doncic and J.J. Barea were among the other players in the scrimmage, Sefko adds.
  • Former Spurs big man Joffrey Lauvergne said he would have stayed in San Antonio if he didn’t get an offer to play with Turkey’s Fenerbahce, he told Fenerbahce TV in an interview relayed by Sportando. Lauvergne declined a $1.656MM player option to sign a two-year deal overseas with the anticipation of getting more playing time. “I wanted to come back to Europe and the team that I wanted to play is Fenerbahçe,” he said. “I accepted the offer without thinking but if Fenerbahçe didn’t offer me i would probably stay in Spurs for one more season.”
  • Mavericks swingman Dorian Finney-Smith should find more playing time in the frontcourt rather than the crowded backcourt, Sefko writes in a separate story. The club hopes he can develop into a 3-and-D player and he’ll earn more minutes if his outside shot improves, Sefko continues. It’s a pivotal year for Finney-Smith, who will become a restricted free agent after the season if he receives a qualifying offer or unrestricted if the club declines to do so, Sefko adds.

Mavs Notes: J. Jackson, Ferrell, G League, Barea

The Mavericks will face a tough decision this summer, ESPN’s Bobby Marks writes in his offseason preview for the team. While the franchise typically hasn’t had to be patient when it comes to rebuilding, the conservative play would be to do just that, since it’s better for the team’s long-term health, Marks argues.

Dallas has the cap space make a splash in free agency, but the club might be better off viewing 2018/19 as a bridge year in which to continue developing its young players before entering the 2018 free agent period with even more room available.

As we wait to see which direction the Mavs go, let’s round up more items out of Dallas…

  • Michigan State big man Jaren Jackson Jr. will be among the prospects who works out for the Mavericks before the draft, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, who notes that Deandre Ayton is the only top college prospect known not to be working out for the club.
  • Yogi Ferrell will be a free agent for the first time in his NBA career this summer and said recently that he’d like to remain with the Mavericks, as Sefko writes in a separate Dallas Morning News article. “I want to be here,” Farrell said. “And I think they want me to be here. I’m just going to wait and see how it works out.” If the two sides both want to work something out, there shouldn’t be many roadblocks, since Farrell is a restricted free agent.
  • In his latest newsletter, Marc Stein of The New York Times reports that Mavs owner Mark Cuban has secured majority control of the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ G League affiliate. Cuban has since officially named longtime equipment manager Al Whitley the owner’s liaison to the Legends. “He reports directly to me,” Cuban said of Whitley.
  • Veteran guard J.J. Barea has received the 2017/18 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award from the Pro Basketball Writers Association, per a press release. Barea earned the award, which is given for community service work, after spending much of the year assisting with disaster relief in Puerto Rico.

Mavericks’ J.J. Barea To Miss Rest Of Season

Mavericks guard J.J. Barea is finished for the season after suffering a left oblique strain during last night’s game, tweets Dwain Price of Mavs.com. The injury occurred in the second quarter and Barea didn’t return to the game.

“I don’t want to finish the season with it messed up,” he said. “I had a good season, I don’t want anything to happen.”

The 33-year-old averaged 11.6 points and 6.3 assists in 69 games, primarily in a reserve role. A 12-year veteran, he is signed for one more season at about $3.7MM.