Was Leandro Barbosa Trade a Silly Move by Colangelo?

Hasib MoeenAnalyst IIMarch 15, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 16:  Leandro Barbosa #20 of the Toronto Raptors drives against Willie Green #33 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on January 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Early Thursday, Yahoo! Sports reported the Toronto Raptors are sending guard Leandro Barbosa to the Indiana Pacers for a second-round pick. The Raptors did not comment about any details of the trade.

Barbosa, 29, was having a solid year, averaging 12.2 points in only 22.5 minutes per game. If we adjust his stats to 36 minutes of play, Barbosa has averaged 19.5 points this season.

The quick Brazilian combo guard has earned a reputation as one of the league's premier sixth men over the years, but he just didn't fit Toronto's rebuilding project.

Leandro Barbosa did not fit the team, but it is surprising how little Toronto received in return. We don't know all of the details yet, but if Barbosa went for only a second rounder, this deal is one of the most lop-sided trades we've seen all season.

Second round draft picks are usually low in value because they consistently result in mediocre young players and busts. This year's draft is expected to have some big names included, but that doesn't mean this draft will be 60-men deep in talent.

It's worth mentioning that since the Pacers are headed for a top-10 season this year, that second round pick will likely be the No. 40 pick or later.

But wait, maybe there is more? Maybe Toronto was thinking about the cap space?

Well, this argument is insignificant because even though Toronto's management saves a few million dollars over the course of this season, the move changes nothing about the free agency scene this summer.

Barbosa was an expiring contract and both teams will finish the season with the same amount of flexibility they had before the trade.

The Raptors gave up a potential 20-point scorer for crumbs, but could they have avoided this?


So far this season there have been a number of guards on the market with not many suitors. Barbosa joins Sam Young, O.J Mayo, Stephen Jackson, Jamal Crawford, and others as a guard who was rumored to be moved before Thursday's deadline.

Most of these guys were traded for just as much as Barbosa. Sam Young was traded to Philly for a similar package (involving only a second rounder), Jamal Crawford is reportedly being dumped for Luke Ridnour, and it seems O.J Mayo still can't find a team willing to give up a first-round pick for him, despite being the No. 3 overall pick himself in 2008.

I am positive trade speculators like myself could have drawn up a few scenarios which would have landed Toronto a bit more, but we cannot forget it was the very last day to move Barbosa. We have to believe Colangelo did his best to find a better deal, but was forced to settle with Indiana.

What does this trade mean, anyway?

For one, the Raptors have solidified themselves as true contenders for the No. 1 overall pick moving forward. Currently Toronto is the fourth-worst team in the league despite playing without Bargnani for several weeks. In order to improve on that, they had no choice but to move a rotation player.

Secondly, this trade only helps Jared Bayless' development. Bayless, who is averaging 11 points on 23 minutes, will finally have the opportunity to prove that he's worth resigning this summer.

Lastly, this trade has one benefit which fans don't normally take into consideration.

Leandro Barbosa was and still is a very talented player whose prime years were going to waste playing for the rebuilding Raptors. On the Pacers, Barbosa will be a key cog in helping them achieve contender status moving forward, and we have to be glad he's finally playing for a real cause.

Overall it has been a great day for Pacers fans, and it'll be interesting to hear about all of the trades which unfold today as the trade deadline winds down.