Could it be that the Lakers aren’t done bolstering their bench? Probably.
According to SportingNews’ Sean Deveney, 9-year veteran Leandro Barbosa could end up with the already revamped Lakers. In the article, Barbosa expresses his patience in his decision due to his desire to be “in the right place” rather than his salary dictates the city he’ll end up playing for.
As of now, only the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns are interested in adding the speedy guard from Brazil. The Brooklyn Nets were part of the equation at one point but decided any further pursuit would be to no avail.
You probably may have to thank former teammate and close friend Steve Nash for that. According to Barbosa, Nash reached out to him via texting to sign with the Lakers. The idea of reuniting with the point guard who helped shape his career and a chance to earn his first championship ring just might be too good to pass up.
On the flip side, having someone like Barbosa who can blitz by defenders and be a streaking cheetah on a fastbreak just might still be on the wishlist of the Lakers front office.
Then again, maybe the reason why the Lakers signed Meeks in the first place is because Barbosa and his agent (Dan Fagen) think that $1.2 million is way too low of an offer for the 29-year old NBA player/Olympian. Perhaps, this is the reason why Barbosa is still in the market despite showing to the world at the Olympics in London what he’s still capable of doing.
Either that or the new CBA and the thought of giving a player that’s never been in the same sentence as defense without the word “no” before it are keeping the other GMs away.
Yes, he did say that money won’t matter much in his decision-making, but he also didn’t exactly say that he’ll be happy with the veteran’s minimum in which the Lakers can only offer him.
There’s also a strong possibility that Barbosa wants a contract that will net him closer to the $7.6 million paycheck he earned last year and with more years attached to it than what could potentially be no more than a 2-year deal with the Lakers.
Just because he says his camp and the Lakers are talking doesn’t mean it’s true. Remember, dropping names in interviews is a common strategy in the world of professional sports management in order to get a bigger bid for their client.
But should the Lakers still pursue Barbosa?
Absolutely! It isn’t everyday where any team that can get a player like Barbosa at the veteran’s minimum. In an era where speed and perimeter shooting is the now the norm, having a surplus of players that fit that mold is never a bad thing.
Just as long as it doesn’t break the bank.