Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD tweeted on Tuesday:
Leandro Barbosa told @balanacesta that talks with the Lakers cooled once LA signed Jodie Meeks. However, Steve Nash has been recruiting him.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) September 11, 2012
For those familiar with Barbosa's scoring ability as a 2-guard, it may not make much sense for the Lakers to go after Meeks before Barbosa.
But a closer look at the team currently constructed proves otherwise.
Barbosa may be a proven veteran (at least offensively), but he's also an older player and Meeks has more upside moving forward. Meeks not only helps the Lakers' three-point shooting now, he has the potential to grow into a better player for when Kobe Bryant hands the team over to Dwight Howard (assuming, of course, Howard stays with the Lakers).
Meeks shot a respectable 36.5 percent from downtown last season with the Philadelphia 76ers. The 2009 second-rounder has shot 37.1 percent from beyond the arc for his career.
Sure, Barbosa shot well from downtown last season, too, but the one thing Meeks offers that the Brazilian doesn't is more upside at 25 years old (Barbosa is 29).
Who is the better option for the Lakers?
There's also the fact that the Lakers don't necessarily need another dynamic scoring threat right now. They already have Bryant, Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. They just need someone who can sit behind the arc and knock it down.
The Lakers shot 32.6 percent from three-point range last season, tied for 25th in the league. Meeks not only gives them a better option in that category, he will be more effective down the line with Barbosa aging.
Even if the Lakers miss out on Barbosa, they made the right move.
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