“It’s gut-wrenching for all of us,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I really do believe that he’ll be back [next season], but it’s hard to put into a few words what J.J. Barea meant to everybody here. He’s one of the really, truly most resourceful players in Mavericks history, a great winner and a great leader.”
Barea was injured during Friday’s 119-115 road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Barea, 34, a longtime Dallas fan favorite who played a key role on the 2011 championship team, has been the leader of one of the NBA’s most effective bench units this season. He is averaging 10.9 points and 5.6 assists in 19.8 minutes per game.
The injury ends Barea’s season and puts in doubt his availability for the start of next season. Barea, a former undrafted free agent in his 13th NBA season, is in the final year of his contract but has said he plans to play at least two more seasons.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.