Could Kevin Durant not be the only player the Knicks sign coming off an Achilles injury? J.J. Barea has a strong case to be the second. 38 games into the season Barea suffered an Achilles tendon tear but before that, the 34 year old was in the midst of another consistent season. Barea was averaging over 10 points a contest for the fourth year in a row and over five assists per game for the third. He’s a career 35 percent three-point shooter, an area where the Knicks should always be looking to improve.
Barea was a fan favorite in Dallas after playing with intensity in his 10 years with the team but the Mavericks are expected to pursue top point guard free agents and with Jalen Brunson also in the stable to Mavs won’t have much of a role for the aging Barea. The Knicks would be wise to add his scoring and playmaking ability to their bench, as well as his veteran leadership.
Barea knows what it takes to host Larry O’Brien trophy as he was a part of the 2011-12 Mavericks. The previous mentioned Achilles injury won’t be an issue for the Knicks as he’s progressed quickly through rehab and is expected to play for Purito Rico in the FIBA World Cup this summer. The injury, however, along with his age, will drive the market for him down, allowing the Knicks to steal him for the veteran’s minimum.