Leandro Barbosa, Suns finalizing 10-day contract

Former Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa is coming home. The 2007 Sixth Man of the Year will join the Suns on a 10-day contract if he passes a physical exam, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

Barbosa should be able to join the Suns for a Tuesday game against the Chicago Bulls.

After tearing his ACL in February, Barbosa was included in a trade by the Boston Celtics that helped them acquire guard Jordan Crawford from the Washington Wizards. Barbosa has been playing in Brazil and appears to be recovered from the ACL tear.

Clearly, the signing has everything to do with injured point guard Eric Bledsoe, who is out at least a week with a knee sprain. It’s not obvious where Barbosa fits in considering third-string point guard Ish Smith has looked quite capable of keeping the Suns afloat when Dragic is on the bench. Even with Bledsoe healthy, rookie Archie Goodwin was playing well enough to earn minutes here and there, although it could be argued that Goodwin’s shortcomings have been masked while playing with the starting unit.

Neither Goodwin nor Smith can provide the offensive punch of Barbosa, who at full strength could easily be imagined as filling in for Bledsoe alongside Dragic — they were both part of the bench unit from 2008-10. Barbosa, after all, was known as the Brazilian Blur who for years led an up-tempo bench unit behind Steve Nash.

Barbosa averaged 18 points and four assists per game to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2007.

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is obviously familiar with Barbosa from his brief stint in Boston, but the signing is also a savvy move that could help a former member of the organization regain his footing in the NBA. Barbosa is still only 31 years old.

For the upcoming road swing, Barbosa could be utilized right away, but it’s hard to say how likely it is he sticks with Phoenix because so much depends on Bledsoe’s recovery. Bledsoe will be reevaluated in a week, the team announced on Saturday.

Monday is the first day NBA teams can sign players to 10-day deals. Teams are allowed to re-sign additions for a second 10-day deal before deciding on whether to sign them for the remainder of the season or let them walk.

  • David

    Cue the guy that makes the “that killer bench unit” rants on every post…

  • Scott

    ^^ I was thinking the same thing! lol

    It will be nice to see Leandro again. Always liked him. Hopefully he can play, too.

  • Zack B.

    I don’t think anyone else is excited as me for this. I know it’s just a 10 day but he played good in Boston, anyone remember him lighting up the Heat?? On top of that he was my 3rd favorite Sun during the glory days. I say we keep him on the vets minimum, sign Terrence Williams to a similar contract, trade PJ Tucker and a pick for Thad Young.

  • Zack B.


    Quick piece I wrote on the return of the Blur. Like the page on Facebook to support a fellow Suns fan. I post mainly about the Suns, but other admins mainly post league highlights and news, pretty cool page for basketball fans. I actually had a chance to write for VOTS but blew it thanks to my computer rebooting while I was writing what was essentially the article that would secure my spot.

  • vtsunrise

    Brrring on the blurrrrrrrrr!

    Seriously, I would love to see the Brazilian Blur, Leandrino Barrrrrrbossssa, flying down the court with these young whipper-snappers.

    Good move.

  • Auggie

    Zack B,

    That Killer Bench Unit guy is more excited than you.

  • Voqar

    I don’t like this move at all. Plus it’s kind of a bummer if they’re expecting Bledsoe to be injured for any length of time – not liking how often and how long he’s ending up sitting.

    Ish is playing well and only gets better with more playing time – and most importantly he actually passes the ball – which is an oft rare thing for these suns. Goodwin shows flashes and has a ton of potential and needs playing time.

    Barbosa has always generally been turnover prone, a liability on defense, inconsistent, and coming off an injury and aging isn’t likely to be much of a blur any more.

    Some of our other young players (bigs in particular) are never seeing the court. (although I could do without Christmas sightings)

    I like LB but was never sad to see him go and see no point to this.

  • Zack B.

    Hah, I don’t even know who the bench unit guy is…

  • Animan

    This move can legitimately not hurt us. It can only help. I love it

  • Al

    Don’t mind this at all. LB is going to bring fond memories of the good old days of 06-07. I hope he gives Goodwin some pointers during his time on the team, however long it may be…

  • Dave:f32

    Yeah baby!!! Barbosa is back! Hope he can stick with the team long term

  • Dave:f32

    Where’s BCrayZ when you need a “unite killer Suns bench squad” quote lol

    (i think its him that says that..?)

  • Tim in BC

    I’m happy Barbosa is back! He was a great part of the bench for the Suns in those days and he also played well with the Raptors before going to the Celtics. I like his energy and enthusiasm and knack for going for the basket.

  • BCrayZ

    Here I am, Dave!

    Fell on deaf ears? Ryan is “the man”, as he listens very well.

    Gogi ( Dragic) & Chinga (Frye) are jumping (literally) for joy! What could have been a down time for our Suns, facing a road trip without Eric, has turned into pure ecstasy for them. They will welcome LB back with more than open arms. They play so well, when they are on the court at thee same time. Move GG 14 back to the 2nd unit. Have Barbosa take Eric’s role. This move will cost the Suns near zero. Getting Louis back to join them? This will also be easy. Louis will give us energy, passion, interior defense & rebounding prowess (at the #4 spot) & the Pelicans aren’t giving him that much playing time these days. What a move that would be. He could easily be gotten for a 2nd round pick. Toss in the defenseless twins & get a 1st round pick for this year back. This way, GG 14 can get more plating time. Make it so again Ryan!

    MUST reunite “that killer bench unit.” Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • Dave:f32

    Yes BCrayZ!!! Lets get Louuuuuuu back because we must unite that killer Suns bench unit!!!

  • Melon Man

    Lou can be had for nothing, he was released by the Pelicans.

  • Bill Danforth

    Oh the irony! Barbosa could never play the point for Phoenix and is a limited offensive player whose best attribute, speed, has left him long ago.

    Look at the non-athletic Kendall Marshall run D’Antoni’s SSOL, in his 2nd game as a starter he recorded 17 dimes, nine points and six boards and only three T.O.s.

    So in Marshall’s two starts for L.A. he is posting:
    15 pts. 16 dimes, 6 boards and only 2 T.O.s

    Bringing back Barbosa is a horrible idea. He can’t run the offense so whose minutes does he cut into?

    Suns should have stuck with the rebuilding plan and brought up Dee Bost from the D league. He currently leads the D league in dimes with 8 per game along with 16 points. He went undrafted after four years at Mississippi State.

    Blazers signed and then waived him prior to the start of the season because they went with veteran Earl Watson as the 3rd PG behind Williams and Lillard.

  • john

    Bill Danforth. The anti-fan.

  • Bill Danforth

    Trade the twins for Amundson? Move Dragic to the bench and start LB in Bledsoe’s place? Who starts in place of Dragic?

    Such enthusiasm for two very limited players that are available because no other team wants them!

    The Morri might be under-achieving but they are certainly light-years ahead of Amundson!

    What happened to the rebuilding plan? Bring back Alex Oriakhi before Amundson!

  • http://none Go Phx

    lol, for sure, Bill. I hope and think most of that was sarcasm.

  • HushPuppy

    Bill, I’m almost positive GG14 is Gerald Green, not Dragic being moved back to the bench. Alas, it doesnt matter. Bad plans, I agree with you. This current team is fun to watch and we have quite a few assets stockpiled for this summer. We can’t sign 4 rookies (well I guess it’s not impossible) so we will be looking to move up in the draft or flip a couple picks for good pieces. Let’s hope Washington stays in the East playoffs and that Minny finishes in the top 17(?). I think that pick is top 13 protected for them.

    I only know one thing for certain. We must reunite that killer bench unite.

  • HushPuppy


  • Bill Danforth

    Thanks HushPuppy, Using GoGi had me confused as I forgot Green was starting in place of Bledsoe. But it still doesn’t matter, signing Barbosa doesn’t make any sense for the reasons Voqar stated.

    I though Phoenix was trying to distant itself from the defenseless SSOL days where like so many others LB looked much better than he is/was.

    Bryan Colangelo who tried to emulate the Suns in Toronto dumped Barbosa for a 2nd rder to give his youngsters more playing time.

    Barbosa and Amundson came off the bench for the Pacers in ’12 but neither were re-signed.

    After tearing his ACL in Boston they traded him to the Wizards for Jordan Crawford who blossomed while replacing the injured Rondo.

    Barbosa’s contract expires while he rehabs his repaired torn ACL.

    But here is the most telling sign of them all; the Lakers had Barbosa on their short list after losing all of their PGs to injury but chose former Sun Kendall Marshall who has shined in L.A.

  • Dave:f32

    Bill Danforth ur reading waaaaayyy too much into the 10-day contract signing of The Brazilian Blur…

  • Foreveris2long

    As for the 10 day contract for Barbosa, While I think it is kind of a small issue I think it speaks volumes about the Suns commitment to being a playoff team this season. They are intent on filling the void left by Bledsoe’s injury with minimal compromise to the Suns playoff run.

    As for the perception Marshall is playing well for the Lakers, he certainly is passing the ball well but if you watch him play I think the concerns of Coach Horny and maybe the coach Wizards are well founded. He was 3 for 10 from the field last night despite the agenda for Denver was to go under the screen every time Marshall touched the ball near a pick. He shot one shot from the side that was an air ball.

    Defensively he was a disaster. Denver scored I believe the 2nd highest point total of the season against the Lakers and Marshall certainly had a lot to do with it. So I think my point is while he is a good passer, the rest of his game remains flawed. Yes he will periodically score by hitting threes because that is the only shot he can comfortably get off because he needs so much space to shoot (last night he had 10 shots and 5 of them were 3 pointers. He missed 4 out of the 5 3 pointers. Presently no one tries to guard him out there. To Coach Horny’s credit, I think he suspected with the flawed shooting stroke he would never be a good shooter if defenses ever really guarded him.

    With poor defense and really bad shooting form, being a one dimensional good passer was apparently not enough for Coach Horny. I tend to agree with him.

  • Bill Danforth

    Interesting. In six games with the Lakers he is shooting 53% FG/47% 3-PT./ 100% FTs Aren’t those Steve Nash numbers?

    Last night Lawson hit for 20 but shot 39% FG/29% 3-PT/with four T.O.s

    So Marshall receives no credit for Trey Burke shooting 20% against him?

    Marshall had the best +/- of all the starters, @-11 while the rest were at -15,-16,-18,-20. But it was Marshall who allowed the Lakers to get blown out?


    How about Mozgov, who has been a 2nd to 3rd string center during his time in the NBA scoring 20 points on 8-10 FGs and 4-5 FTs?

    Marshall allowed Faried to post 17/13?

    So you are faulting Marshall for the Lakers lack of depth and having to chase Nate Robinson around after Lawson went to the bench?

    Besides, it doesn’t really matter, you illustrated the real point beautifully! D’Antoni’s SSOL made yet another mediocre PG look like an All-Star just like he did with Barbosa.

    Since leaving Phoenix Barbosa has been with four teams before finally being forced out of the league.

    Phoenix has your favorite rookie, Archie Goodwin and then the shooter Dionte Christmas on the bench.

    Why are the Suns wasting their time with Barbosa?

    How is bringing back Barbosa interpreted as a commitment to being a playoff team? Horny didn’t like Marshall’s defense? Since when has Barbosa ever been a good defensive player? Barbosa is one-dimensional also, jacks up three-pointers only. He has never had a mid-range game and he no longer fast enough to out-run opposing players end to end.

    If they are so willing to use up a roster spot why not bring back Alex Oriakhi to shore up the front line?

    BTW, Washington media has been writing about how the Wizards made a terrible mistake waiving Marshall after his two performances with the Lakers. They think he should have been kept since Eric Maynor has been a huge disappointment thus far and has been relegated as the 3rd PG.

    Just food for thought: During his rookie year Jason Kidd shot 38% FGs/27% 3-PTs/70% FTs . He added almost 8 dimes with with three T.O.s per game. Kidd also entered the league with flawed shooting mechanics.

    Those numbers earned him Co-ROY along with Hill.

  • Zak

    It’s a 10 day contract to fill a need. It just happens to be Barbosa. Once Bledsoe is healthy again I doubt that Barbosa will be retained unless he plays so well that the Suns decide to use their final roster spot to sign him to a vet’s minimum contract.

    Bringing back Lou A. won’t happen unless the team decides to waive someone already on the team or makes a trade that opens up another roster spot.

  • Scott

    I think the strategy here is pretty clear.

    Barbosa is back because the Suns are looking for a veteran combo guard … someone who can be the other head for the Suns’ two-headed guard monster when either Bledsoe or Dragic is injured, as that has happened a lot this season, and it may happen in the post-season as well.

    The Suns have got a roster spot open, and neither Ish, nor Green, nor Archie, nor Christmas can fill the distributing + scoring void that Barbosa can, at least in theory.

    As for what Barbosa can do at this point in his career on offense and defense, we’ll have to see. His defense is almost certainly not good enough to unseat either of the starters (Bledsoe and Dragic). But if you’re a GM looking for a speedy veteran guard who can pass and score who also isn’t already with another team … obviously Barbosa is someone you check out.

  • Dave:f32
  • BCrayZ

    Dave -

    Thank you for the link. Roster is now full.

    Suns will need to give them some of our players.

    Will they send them the Morris twins & then be able to sign Louis back? Make it so, Ryan.

  • Dave:f32


    No problem! Ur welcome ;) Hope they ship Kieff so they can still keep Marcus and Frye. Of course a draft pick and/or two will be involved, if not also Including Emeka Okafor to relieve cap space

  • Foreveris2long

    Dave32,Thanks for making my day. That would be a very good acquisition for the Suns. Hopefully we can keep Goodwin out of the deal if it is done.

    Bill, I do not know if you have seen Marshall play with the Lakers but if not I am telling you the shooting stats are very misleading. Opponents are begging him to shoot. Opponents go under the screen with him every time. Coach Horny knows that eventually teams will guard him and his shooting mechanics are so flawed, he will shooting % will decrease.

    The problem with comparing him to Jason Kidd is Kidd could do two things really well, defend and pass. Marshall is a bad defender and shooter and therefore can only do one thing well.

  • Dave:f32

    Glad to make you smile, Foreveris2long!!! Enjoy the Suns at Bulls game. Im tuning in right now