The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly looking into making one last move before wrapping up an extremely successful summer: signing former NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Leandro Barbosa.
So far the main story of this offseason has been the monster that Mitch Kupchak was able to put together while nobody was really paying attention. Sure, everyone figured that the Lakers were favorites to land Dwight Howard – but Steve Nash? Few saw that move coming. Almost as important as those two deals, though, was the way that L.A. shored up its bench. A squad that came into the offseason with perhaps the worst reserves group in the league now boasts one one of the best.
And they may not be done just yet. As noted by Sports Illustrated:
Indiana Pacers free agent guard Leandro Barbosa confirmed that he is talking to the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns, and is even getting recruited over texts from Lakers point guard Steve Nash, according to a Hoops Hype translation of a report from OUL Deporte:
“Among others, I’m talking with Phoenix, the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Steve Nash even texted me because he wants me there.”
Last season, through 66 games, Barbosa averaged 11.1 points on 43 percent shooting from the field in 20 minutes of action per game. His totals declined when he moved from the Toronto Raptors to the Indiana Pacers, but that was mostly just because he was such a weird fit in Indiana.
The problem with Barbosa now is same one that existed a couple of months ago when we first heard he was interested in L.A. – money. The Lakers don’t have much of it left, and Barbosa wants more than he’d be offered even if the Lakers did have some to offer. Plus, there’s really no room on the roster for him when you really dig into likely lineups.
As of this moment, this signing is something of a longshot.
(Kudos Sports Illustrated)