Wolves show interest in adding Mavs' Barea


J.J. Barea, right, joked with Puerto Rico teammate Renaldo Balkman during the Pan American Games in October.

Photo: Martin Mejia, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

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Quiet so far in free agency, the Wolves pursued former Dallas point guard J.J. Barea on Saturday, according to a league source.

Another point guard, you say?

Yes, the Wolves already have Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour on the roster, but they are after one who helped the Mavericks win the NBA title last summer.

New Wolves coach Rick Adelman has identified the team's need for another ball-handling, playmaking guard. But it's a third point guard rather than a shooting guard the Wolves targeted.

NBA.com reported New York and the Wolves are after Barea. The only deal the over-the-cap Knicks can offer is a "mini mid-level" 2-year, $5 million deal. The Wolves could offer more.

Barea, 27, fits those team needs, but he's a 5-11 waterbuggish point guard who is miffed that the Mavs, -- saving cap space for next year -- only offered him a one-year contract.

He would give the Wolves a Spanish-speaking player to help Rubio's transition to America.

Barea averaged 8.9 points, 3.4 assists and 18.6 minutes and shot nearly 42 percent from three-point distance in the playoffs. He had 22 points and eight assists in the clinching game of a second-round playoff victory over the Lakers.

ESPN reported Saturday that either the Wolves, Boston or Cleveland could be involved as a fourth team to help facilitate the current three-way trade that would send Chris Paul from New Orleans to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Still healthy

And on the second day of training camp, the Timberwolves rested.

Well, at least relatively speaking. Adelman said he is doing what he can to keep his team fresh during the hectic run-up to the regular season.

Saturday, for example, the scrimmaging was controlled rather than open. And a scrimmage slated for the end of the workout was called off.

"They had worked hard," Adelman said. "We did enough work, so that was it."

Adelman never has been a big believer in two-a-day practices during camp, and he's not about to change that. He thinks players recover better with one practice a day and there is less chance of injury.

For now, two-a-days are not on his agenda, especially since he feels players arrived in pretty good shape.

Bonzi's back

The Wolves added veteran shooting guard Bonzi Wells to the training camp roster Saturday.

Wells, 35, last played in Puerto Rico in 2010 and didn't play last season. He played for Adelman in Sacramento and Houston. He won't practice until FIBA clears him because he last played internationally.

"We thought it was worth looking at him," Adelman said. "I had him twice. I know what he can do. If he's in shape, he can be a factor."


• Top draft pick Derrick Williams has signed his rookie contract -- expected to start at more than $4.5 million a year -- on Saturday. Second-round pick Malcolm Lee continues to negotiate a contract, but has agreed to participate in practices until he signs.

• Brad Miller, who is coming back from knee surgery, is scheduled to see a doctor next week and hopes to be cleared to begin basketball activities. He's still shooting to return sometime after mid-January.

• The Wolves have until 5 p.m. Monday to submit a blind bid for released Knicks guard Chauncey Billups but are not expected to do so.


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