Free agent profile: Leandro Barbosa
This is the 18th post in a series focusing on this year’s free-agent class.
Player: Leandro Barbosa
Former team: Indiana Pacers
Type of free agent: Unrestricted
Positives: Barbosa’s presence with Antawn Jamison would quickly help the Lakers’ offensively challenged bench climb to an unstoppable one. Barbosa can score in bunches, either by attacking the rim (60.7%) or shooting a mid-range jumper (59.3%). Considering the Lakers are in dire need of more players who can create for themselves, Barbosa could help relieve the tentativeness the Lakers’ reserves played with in the last few seasons. Because of Barbosa’s ability to score in a hurry, he’d serve a great part in giving the Lakers a momentum boost midway through the first quarter. Meanwhile, such value would likely help Kobe Bryant conserve his minutes more this season.
Negatives: Barbosa offers nothing else after scoring punch. He doesn’t hustle for rebounds (averaged two a game last season). He doesn’t offer much effort on defense. Even his scoring comes with an average shooting clip from three-point range (a career 39% shooter). The Lakers are in dire need of scorers on their reserve unit, but Barbosa’s one-dimensional play could cancel itself out.
Verdict: The Lakers can’t be too choosy this deep into free agency. He’s fulfills a definite need at shooting guard. And Barbosa, who’s playing in the London Olympics for Brazil, could face limited options. If the Lakers can convince him to take the veteran’s minimum ($1.4 million), Barbosa is worth the pursuit.
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