6. JJ Barea
Several of the players on this list can be categorized as bad signings simply because they were an overpay for an average role player, and JJ Barea fits this niche perfectly. Having just won the 2011 NBA Finals with the Dallas Mavericks, Barea became an unrestricted free agent heading into his sixth year as a pro.
During the NBA lockout and just before the 2011-12 season began, he signed with the Timberwolves on a four-year, $19 million dollar contract. This was an odd move by Minnesota for a few reasons. The first was that the undersized 5’10” Barea had just come off a postseason where he shot an underwhelming 41.9% from the floor and just 32% from three. He may have been on a championship roster, but he was not putting up gaudy individual numbers.
The second reason Barea’s signing was a bit of a head-scratcher was that the Timberwolves had just decided to bring their 2009 draft selection, Ricky Rubio, to Minnesota from overseas in the summer of 2011. Rubio and Barea had their moments of success together, but it never seemed like a pairing that could work together long-term.
While JJ Barea’s on-court production was not terrible, the kicker was that he was just never the greatest fit with the players around him. At the end of his third season with the team, the Wolves waived him and he returned to Dallas. Overall, signing Barea was a classic sidestep that was ultimately never going to move the needle for Minnesota.