By Ben Golliver
The NBA has fined Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea $5,000 for his second violation of the league’s anti-flopping policy on Monday. Barea’s first violation came on Nov. 5; he was one of the first two players warned under the league’s new system, implemented for the first time this season.
Barea is the third player to receive a fine under the league’s anti-flopping guidelines, which allow one free warning before assessing fines, joining Nets forward Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace.
Barea’s second flop occurred during a 113-98 Timberwolves loss to the Mavericks on Jan. 14. With 11:26 remaining in the second quarter and the Mavericks leading 26-22, Barea fell to the floor while defending Rodrigue Beaubois on the perimter. Barea launched himself backwards after absorbing minimal contact from an off arm push. Beaubois was whistled for an offensive foul on the play.
This type of flop was specifically called out in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Clippers guard Chris Paul was called out for trying to sell a charge in a similar manner.
“As the highlighted defensive player, No. 3 in the red uniform, defends the driving offensive player, he feels slight contact and then launches himself back to the floor,” the video’s narrator explained. “This reaction by the defensive player is an overembellishment of marginal contact and is intended to draw an unearned offensive foul on his opponent.”
Barea’s first flop occurred during the fourth quarter of a game against the Kings when he over-exaggerated contact from Jimmer Fredette, leaning back and throwing both arms up in the air after being hit with a swinging left arm.
All told, 12 players have been warned this season: Spurs guard Tony Parker, Sixers guard Royal Ivey, Magic center Gustavo Ayon, Rockets center Omer Asik, Hawks center Zaza Pachulia, Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, Wallace, Rockets forward Patrick Patterson, Evans, Thunder guard Kevin Martin, Barea and Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan.
Barea will now be subject to further fines if he is deemed to have violated the policy again. The sliding fine scale looks like this.
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine
For a sixth (or any subsequent) violation of the rule, the player will be subject to such discipline as the League determines is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
Barea, 28, is averaging 11.0 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game for the Timberwolves this season. He’s on the books for $4.5 million.