Lakers Rumors: Leandro Barbosa Would Be the Perfect Sixth Man

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IAugust 6, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 28:  Leandro Barbosa #28 of the Indiana Pacers looks on against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on March 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. 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 Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

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.

Already boasting a dynamic scoring trio of Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Los Angeles Lakers could be looking to add scoring off the bench in the form of free agent Leandro Barbosa.

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

Barbosa would be a perfect fit for the Lakers, who are in need of a shooter off the bench. He's coming off of a season that saw him average 10.5 PPG with the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors

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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