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Wednesday, June 29, 2011
J.J. Barea planning on Spain next season?

By Jeff Caplan

If the NBA labor struggle goes deep into the summer and appears headed into the fall, Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea said he might look to take his talents to Spain.

"I guess my plan B would be Spain, but I hope that does not happen," Barea said in a joint video chat Wednesday with El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora as his celebrity media tour throughout his home of Puerto Rico rolls on.

Barea went on to say that he doesn't think the league's owners and players will take things to such a dire situation.

If things were good for the backup point guard last year, this coming year stands to be even better. Barea turned 27 on Sunday and life has never been better. Although in his fifth season, Barea introduced himself to fans around the NBA with excellent postseason series against the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

It just so happens that Barea listed the Lakers and Heat -- along with the New York Knicks -- as teams he would like to play for if things don't go as planned in negotiations with his first love -- the Mavs.

Barea hits free agency Thursday night at 11 p.m. CST. He has reiterated his desire to remain in Dallas even though more lucrative offers could come from elsewhere. The Mavs might have no choice but to pony up to keep him considering they have no one beyond Barea to back up Jason Kidd, who coach Rick Carlisle will look to curtail his minutes even more next season.

Not that anyone had much confidence in Rodrigue Beaubois to slip into that role next season, his recent second surgery on his left foot makes that practically impossible now, and the draft-night trade for Rudy Fernandez does nothing to bolster the backup point guard spot.

In the interview, Barea said he believes Sacramento, which traded Beno Udrih on draft night, is interested in signing him.

However, everything will have to wait assuming the league shuts down by the end of Thursday.