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Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Mayo sign-and-trade scenarios include Barea's return

By Tim MacMahon

O.J. Mayo might help the Mavs bring back one of Dirk Nowitzki’s championship buddies.

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With the Timberwolves among the teams recruiting Mayo, the Mavs have had discussions with Minnesota about a sign-and-trade that would net 2011 Finals hero J.J. Barea.

The Mavs don’t have the luxury of picking their trade partner in these sign-and-trade scenarios, which include the possibility of a package from the Clippers headlined by explosive 23-year-old point guard Eric Bledsoe. Mayo will pick his next team – and it’s a near certainty he won’t return to Dallas due to the market for him after he was the team’s second-leading scorer during his lone season with the Mavs.

Dallas decision-makers Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson are determined to explore all options involving him as a trade asset.

If Mayo chooses Minnesota, one of several teams who have shown interest in him, a deal that would bring back Barea and likely another piece might make sense, depending on how the Mavs’ shopping for a point guard goes. Barea isn’t an ideal starter due to his size but could be a stopgap who could mentor rookies Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel.

Due to make $9.2 million over the two remaining years on his contract, Barea could also have some trade value if opportunities present themselves in midseason. At the very least, Barea, who averaged 11.3 points and 4.0 assists off the bench last season, would add some juice to the Mavs’ pick-and-roll-happy offense.

And seeing Barea in a Mavs uniform again would certainly please some fans who never wanted to see him leave in the first place.