Timberwolves close to buyout of J.J. Barea, reports say


ESPN's Marc Stein was the first to report that the Minnesota Timberwolves are planning to buy out veteran guard J.J. Barea's contract, which would enable him to become a free agent.

The Wolves, and all other NBA teams, have to cut their rosters to 15 players by Monday at 5 p.m. Minnesota has to cut one player to get to that limit.

Sources told Stein that Barea will be waived before the deadline.

Barea is expected to clear waivers because his salary-cap number for the coming season is $4.5 million.

According to the Star Tribune, Barea wants to play every day and head coach Flip Saunders couldn't promise him that, so the two sides agreed to the buyout.

Barea is entering his ninth NBA season and averaged 8.4 points and 3.8 assists in 79 games last season with the Wolves, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The decision also means that the Wolves have decided to keep a roster spot open for rookie Glenn Robinson III, according to the Star Tribune.

Robinson was the 40th pick in the NBA draft in June, and although he hasn't played much in the preseason, Saunders is pleased with his progress.

"He's had a good enough preseason where we understand where he's at, and what his potential is," Saunders told the Pioneer Press Sunday.

Barea was a member of the Mavericks during their 2011 championship season. He would be the second member of the the championship roster to return to the team in recent months, after center Tyson Chandler was traded from the New York Knicks.

The Timberwolves open the regular season Wednesday in Memphis.

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