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A free agent again

Andre Barrett is a free agent again.

The former Seton Hall and Rice High star, who has bounced from team to team and league to league since going undrafted in 2004, is looking for a new home. The 5-foot-11 point guard just finished his first season overseas with FC Barcelona, which won the 2008-09 ACB Championship. Barrett, who averaged 3.6 points per game in 14 appearances playing in a crowded backcourt, needed time to get used to the different style of play overseas as well as the change in culture. He said he had offers from NBA teams to play with their summer league squads, but chose not to attend. He returned home right before the NBA Draft and the summer league commenced soon after.

“I played five years in the [NBA] and I had just come back from a long season in Spain,” Barrett said. “I needed a little bit of a time to rest.”

He signed with the Knicks right after the draft, but was waived during that pre-season. He played 38 games between Houston and Orlando that year, averaging 3.1 points per game in limited minutes. Over the next two seasons he had short stints in Toronto, Phoenix, Chicago, and finally with the Clippers.

“The NBA is all about the perfect fit and getting an opportunity,” the Bronx native said. “A lot of guys go to certain situations and they catch on with the right team where they can show their ability. A lot of those guys had that situation – Rafer Alston, Mike James. [James] had that opportunity in Toronto where it took off for him.”

Alston, a former Cardozo star, is currently with the Nets and in his 11th year in the league and James, who is in his 12th season is now in Washington. Barrett has lived on the periphery of the NBA since leaving Seton Hall. He played for the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam and Austin Toros in 2007-08, when he also signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers. He averaged 18.9 points, 8.8 assists, and 3.4 rebounds in 38.2 minutes for Bakersfield before being traded to Austin.

Since finishing with FC Barcelona, Barrett got back in the gym training and taking time to play with Gold’s Gym at Nike Pro City this summer. Barrett, who led the Pirates to the 2004 NCAA tournament, is still extremely quick with the ball, a pinpoint passer and bonafide playmaker and penetrator. He was saddled with foul trouble in his team’s 111-108 semifinal loss to defending champion Queensbridge in the semifinals Tuesday night. He scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, including three 3-pointers.

“He’s a great player, a great scoring guard,” Gold’s Gym teammate and former St. Francis Prep star Rashad Bell said. “He can run a team.”

Which squad Barrett will be running next is still unknown. He said he has a few options, but would not reveal what they were because of ongoing negotiations. Barrett knows he still needs to be patient for that right situation to come.

“You have to be a team player first,” he said. “You can’t sit there and complain that you’re not playing as much as you should or getting the opportunity that you should get. You have to be a team player and a professional.”

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