May 13, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Leandro Barbosa (28) drives to the basket as Miami Heat center Joel Anthony (50) defends during the second half in game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 95-86. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Leandro Barbosa Back With Phoenix Suns?

January 22, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors shooting guard Leandro Barbosa (20) scores a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Leandro Barbosa won the 6th man of the year award during the 2006-2007 season with the Suns and seemed like he was headed for a bright future, however since that year it’s been pretty much downhill from there. After being traded to the Toronto Raptors after the 2009-2010 season the Brazilian Blur soon after was traded from there to Indiana and he’s now a free agent who’s yet to find a team.

The Suns still have two open roster spots. Barbosa throughout most of the off-season has been linked with Suns but neither side has met or gotten into serious talks about a contract. Barbosa is still a solid player who can brings firepower off the bench but like most other combo guards, Barbosa is too small to play the shooting guard spot and not a good enough play maker to play the point; which is probably why the Suns still haven’t signed Barbosa.

Barbosa is also a pitiful player on the defensive end, he’s quick enough to pick off some passes in the passing lane but aside from that he might as well be a traffic cone on defense. It’s a big reason why he comes off the bench for the most part as his coaches typically attempts to hide his woeful defense by matching him up against low offensive threat bench players. Barbosa’s speed, shooting touch and tendency to get hot on offense has kept him in this league; in fact since the 2005-2006 he’s averaged more than 20 points per 40 minutes every season.

After the Suns traded Robin Lopez to New Orleans to acquire Wesley Johnson and a 1st round draft pick the Suns pretty much set their rotation; more or less. The Suns presumed starting five of Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat, along with Kendall Marshall, Shannon Brown, Wesley Johnson, Markieff Morris, and Channing Frye as the other five off the bench. So even if the Suns sign Barbosa they wouldn’t be able to create a lot of minutes for him and Barbosa is too good to be a benchwarmer.

The Suns still have two open roster spots which will most likely go to a veteran player who’s beyond his years and bring him in as a mentor and one of the Suns summer league players. Barbosa can still remain to be an option for the Suns but the odds of him agreeing to a deal isn’t very high, Barbosa is still only 29 years old, he can still ball and he’s not going to be okay with being a role player who plays 10 minutes a night.

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