Free agent J.J. Barea was finalizing a four-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to multiple reports Monday.
The Puerto Rican, who starred in the Dallas Mavericks' run to the 2011 NBA title in June, had been chased by New York, but the Knicks were limited to a less competitive offer after dipping under the salary cap to deal for Barea's former teammate Tyson Chandler.
ESPN reported Barea has been offered $19 million over four years in Minnesota. NBA.com, citing a source, reported the Knicks would only commit to a two-year deal.
Both offers exceeded the efforts of the Mavericks to hold on to a player they signed in 2006, with Dallas bosses apparently only pitching him a one-year deal.
Barea was a key contributor on the Mavericks' run to the NBA title, especially in the Western Conference Semifinals sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 11.5 points and 5.5 assists and shot 50 percent from the field.
Team owner, Mark Cuban has opted to free up salary cap space, and avoid a huge luxury tax bill, for the first time in his tenure.