Veteran guard Leandro Barbosa has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Golden State Warriors, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. The one-year deal will be worth the veteran minimum, joining the Brazilian combo guard with the Dubs for the 2014-15 NBA season.
The 31-year-old Barbosa was reportedly weighing offers over the past few weeks, deciding between the Warriors and the Miami Heat, all while balancing his role with the Brazilian national team in the FIBA World Cup.
Now with a place to call home in October, Barbosa can focus on helping Brazil in the upcoming World Cup tournament. He plays a large scoring role for the Brazilians, but when it comes to his NBA role this coming season, the Warriors will rely on him for veteran leadership, quality minutes off the bench, and his explosive quickness that is still top-notch for NBA guard standards.
In 2013-14 with the Phoenix Suns, Barbosa appeared in 20 games and averaged 7.5 points per game, making more than 42 percent of his shots, before dealing with a broken hand that ended his season. In past seasons, Barbosa has proven to be a valuable asset off the bench, also stepping up to make starts as needed. Just two years ago in a brief stint with the Toronto Raptors, Barbosa averaged 12.2 points per game, contributing over 22 minutes per contest.
The move to add Barbosa comes just weeks after it was revealed that newly-acquired backup guard Shaun Livingston required surgery to repair a big toe issue that will sideline him for six to eight weeks. The Warriors front office obviously felt a lack of guard depth, and went after Barbosa.
He’ll be a great complement to the current starters, and will provide excellent energy minutes to the Dubs second unit. The move seems to be a replacement for Jordan Crawford, who is currently exploring free agency. Barbosa is capable of giving Stephen Curry a breather at point guard, and he can step up to play the 2-guard position if Klay Thompson goes cold.
Barbosa, a former Sixth Man of the Year award winner in 2007, is just what the Warriors needed to add depth to a sorely lacking guard corps. At a veteran minimum contract, the Warriors front office will get extremely valuable time from the Brazilian Blur.
He’s not going to look to light up the scoreboard or make highlight reel plays; his energy, speed and high-percentage shooting is enough to make him an important piece for this up and coming Warriors team.
The 11-year veteran Barbosa will be eager and ready to make his first trip back to the NBA playoffs since playing in a backup role during the 2011-12 playoff run with the Indiana Pacers. After the FIBA World Cup concludes, he’ll be tuned up and well-prepared to help out the young Warriors guards in their 2014-15 shot at the Western Conference title.