Leandro Barbosa is no longer a Sixth Man of the Year candidate, and his once best-in-the-league jets have slowed considerably, but the man can still get you buckets off the bench. In Indiana last year, he only averaged 8.9 points a game, but that had more to do with a crowded backcourt than anything else. With Brazil currently in the Olympics, a couple of reports have surfaced linking the 6-3 Barbosa to both Cleveland and the Lakers.
Sam Amico reports Barbosa would be willing to talk and possibly sign with the Cavs. His Brazilian teammate Anderson Varejao is part of the attraction, but he also knows the team’s only veteran backcourt player is Daniel Gibson. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters – first and second-year players – will probably start. Still, over the course of a long season, that’d leave a lot of minutes for Barbosa.
Plus, Cleveland has around $16 million in cap space. The marriage only makes sense; Barbosa knows he can probably get the most money in Ohio. For now, Amico’s sources couldn’t say whether the interest was mutual.
Then earlier today, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweeted out that Brazil’s camp believes the Lakers have interest in Barbosa as well. L.A. has the $3.09 million taxpayer exception to give away. They could end up using it on Barbosa or perhaps C.J. Miles.
While most pegged him early in his career as a player who was a major beneficiary of Steve Nash‘s genius, Barbosa can fit in almost anywhere. He’s a GREAT – not good, great – teammate, is willing to come off the bench and is one of the few veterans free agents left who you can count on to give you a game or two a week where he pumps in 10-15 points in limited minutes.
Would he be a good fit in Cleveland?
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