Report: Timberwolves to Sign JJ Barea

Goodbye Dallas, hello Minny. So says JJ Barea, according to “A source close to free agent J.J. Barea tells TNT’s David Aldridge that the 27-year-old is finalizing details on a four-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which would further add to that team’s seemingly inexhaustible supply of guards. Barea, who starred in the postseason last spring during the Dallas Mavericks’ run to the NBA title, took more in Minnesota than in New York, which had been talking about a two-year deal, according to the source. But after using the amnesty provision on Saturday to waive guard Chauncey Billups and dealing forward Ronny Turiaf to Washington as part of the three-team deal that sent Tyson Chandler to New York, the Knicks technically fell under the cap, and thus lost their ability to use the mid-level exception starting at $5 million. They only had the new ‘room’ exception for teams that are below the tax threshold that starts at $2.5 million to offer. The Timberwolves could be looking for a mentor for their high-profile rookie guard, Ricky Rubio, who finally came over to the NBA after starring in Europe as a teenager. Rubio was taken fifth overall by the Wolves in 2009 but remained in Europe until this summer. The Wolves already have veteran guard Luke Ridnour on the roster as well. The Mavericks, who are intent on keeping cap flexibility next season, only offered Barea a one-year deal, the source said. That left Barea feeling ‘betrayed’ after he’d become a key contributor for Dallas the past few seasons and a major factor last season off the bench in the playoffs for the Mavericks, averaging 8.9 points and 3.4 assists in 18.6 minutes per game in the postseason.”