TNT”s David Aldridge is reporting that the Minnesota Timberwolves are on the verge of signing former Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea. Barea is a “6 ft” (no way) point guard who last year averaged 9.5 points, 3.9 assists, and helped the Mavericks win the NBA title. Barea would join Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio as a third point guard on the Timberwolves roster. He is 27 years old and is from Puerto Rico. The biggest question coming from this move is what happens to Ridnour? Once again general manager David Kahn has assemble a glut of point guards. I understand that you can never have enough good players, but it’s tough to keep everyone happy when they are unsure of their minutes. I would like to see some stability here. Luke has only been in Minnesota 1 year, and is just getting accustomed to playing here. Ridnour shoots the ball at a much higher percentage than Barea as well. I would a bit disappointed if this means Ridnour is out the door. Perhaps the team feels point guard is a crucial position to have depth.
Check out the numbers:
Ridnour in 2010-11: 47% field goals, 44% 3-pointers, and 88% free throws
Barea in 2010-11: 44% field goals, 35% 3-pointers, 85% free throws
Let’s remain positive in the fact that Barea does have championship experience. He wasn’t just a bench player for the Mavericks either, as he played a lot of minutes in crunch time down the stretch. Barea also does create off the dribble a little better than Ridnour, and seems to have a knack for making something positive happen. However, the move is a bit of a head scratcher at this point. But let’s not question the genius of David Kahn and let this mad scientist experiment play out.
On a side note, the Timberwolves are also rumored to be very interested in signing free agent shooting guard Jamal Crawford. We will keep an eye on that story as it develops today and the rest of the week.