As J.J. Barea continues his whirlwind glory-tour of hometown Puerto Rico, Dallas fans still reveling in the fuzzy glow of their first NBA championship may have just been shot back down to Earth. The popular Mavericks point guard made headlines Wednesday, claiming that he may consider signing with a Spanish League team if the oncoming lockout becomes as bad as predicted.
"I guess my plan B would be Spain," Barea said in joint video chat with Spanish networks El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora. "But I hope that does not happen."
The statement serves a stark reminder of the drab future ahead of the NBA. Should the lockout leak into the 2011-2012 NBA season, incoming free-agents such as Barea would be left in a difficult situation.
The 27-year old back-up point guard is sure to be one of the top priorities on the offseason checklist of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Barea's speed and quickness to the basket functioned as a perfect off-the-bench punch throughout the playoffs, slicing through defenses and forcing interior collapses that freed up Dallas' dynamic array of shooters.
Though, following such a strong performance, Barea is likely to get top dollar in the open market. Should the lockout end in a timely manner, and Dallas fails to resign him, the five-year veteran acknowledged that he would be willing to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and Miami Heat. Barea also claimed that the Sacramento Kings were interested in him.