Updated 03:14 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 22, 2021

Dallas Mavericks Point Guard J.J. Barea Says He has Three Years Left in the NBA

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Diminutive hoopster J.J. Barea has enjoyed an unprecedented amount of success in a league dominated by towering giants. While the average shelf life of an NBA player is just five years, the 5'10" Puerto Rican is now playing in his tenth NBA season.

Most basketball players would want to play in the league for as long as they possibly can. But for Barea, 13 years would be more than enough. In a recent sitdown with The Dallas Morning News via SportsDay, Barea mentioned that he plans to play in the league for three more seasons.

"I was just trying to get in at one point and now I am going into my tenth year, said the 31-year old point guard. "I have three more left after this one. I am just enjoying it as much as I can and taking it all in and just keep working hard."

He added that it was his constant drive to improve his game that kept him in the NBA for so long, despite his not-so ideal height. He also prided himself on his basketball IQ, pesky defense and all-around intensity on the court.

Barea was an undrafted rookie back in 2006. His first NBA break came when he got asked to play for the Golden State Warriors for the annual Las Vegas Summer League. He then played for the now defunct NBA D-League team, the Fort Worth Flyers. In just eight games for the Flyers, the then 21-year old point guard averaged 27.3 points, 7.8 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in less than 37 minutes of play, per NBA.com.

He then signed a multi-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks at the start of the 2006-2007 season. The deal made him the seventh Puerto Rican to put on an NBA Jersey, following the likes of Butch Lee, Ramon Rivas, Jose Ortiz, Daniel Santiago Carlos Arroyo and Peter John Ramos.

From 2011 to 2014, Barea played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, while slowly becoming the vocal leader of the Puerto Rican men's national basketball team. According to FIBA.com, he averaged 20.2 points, 6.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds for Los Gallos in the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship.

Barea rejoined the Dallas Mavericks at the start of the 2014-2015 NBA season. He recently admitted that he knew he was going to miss Dallas when he left in 2011.

When asked about what he liked most about Dallas, he said, "I think the people. I just like the people that live here. They live good, happy. Everybody helps everybody."

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said Barea's skill set greatly expands the team's offensive and defensive options. Barea told ESPN, "Whatever they need me to do, I'll be ready." Fans can expect that same type of attitude from Barea in the next three years.

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