The Los Angeles Lakers have been active this summer, acquiring two-time MVP Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns as well as adding two-time All-Star and former NBA Sixth Man of the Year Antawn Jamison for bench depth.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Barbosa has caught the interest of the Lakers:
Game of the day now: Brazil v Russia. Hearing out of Brazil camp that they believe Lakers have interest in free-agent Leandro Barbosa— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 2, 2012
The 29-year-old shooting guard possesses great speed and is good friends with Lakers PG Steve Nash, as the two played together in Phoenix, which is undoubtedly a nice added bonus.
It's no wonder that Barbosa had his best years while playing alongside Nash, averaging 12.9 PPG with Nash as his point guard.
Aside from his scoring abilities and speed on the court, Barbosa would supply the Lakers with a much-needed jolt off the bench from the sixth man position.
L.A.'s bench is looking pretty bleak right now and Barbosa is talented enough to fill in at both the 1 and 2 spots when Nash or Bryant need to rest.
As Kurt Helin of NBC Sports writes, "Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has said that he is only signing players for the veteran minimum the rest of the way out. He’s certainly not going to break that plan for Barbosa."
Helin is absolutely right. Kupchak isn't going to break his plan on Barbosa and he may not have to.
GMs around the league have taken notice and now see that Barbosa is more of a sixth man type of player, meaning he won't be seeing high-valued offers from many teams.
The Lakers need to add scoring off the bench and Leandro Barbosa presents a great opportunity for L.A.
Let's see if Kupchak pulls the trigger.
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