Brazilian guard Leandro Barbosa will suit up for the Golden State Warriors next season.
Beefing Up the Back court
In a report by Marc Stein of espn.com, Barbosa reportedly reached an agreement to sign with the Warriors for a one year deal worth the veteran’s minimum. Barbosa was also being actively courted by the Miami Heat prior to his decision to play for the Dubs. The Heat later settled for another veteran guard, Shannon Brown, too beef up their backcourt.
Reliable Veteran Guard
Barbosa played for the Phoenix Suns, this past season he suited up for 20 games and averaged 7.5 points 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game before suffering a season ending hand fracture in March.
Barbosa was the San Antonio Spurs’ 1st round pick in 2003 (#28) but started his career playing seven seasons as a reliable back court contributor with the Phoenix Suns. Barbosa also played for the Raptors, Pacers and Celtics before coming back to Phoenix last season.
The 12 year NBA veteran has career averages of 11.9 points 2.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Though Barbosa was hardly a three point presence in the last two seasons, he has a career average of 1.3 three pointers made per game.
After trading Steve Blake to Portland, Golden State was looking for a steady back-up to their superstar back court of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. And after signing veteran point guard Shaun Livingston from the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the off season, the Warriors have strengthened their back court with the addition of Barbosa, a fearless offensive weapon who is known in NBA circles as the “Blur” for his quickness and speed. Babrosa is also an excellent ball handler who can help the Dubs in play making.
Barbosa looks to play a key role off the bench for the Warriors as he has a personal connection to newly hired Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr. Kerr was the General Manager of the Phoenix Suns from 2007-2010 when Barbosa was still playing there. He knows firsthand what the Brazilian Blur can do for this team, as they look to strengthen their position in the tough Western Conference of the NBA.
The 31 year old Barbosa is currently with the Brazilian national basketball team in Spain to compete for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup which starts on August 30th. Barbosa joins fellow NBA veterans Tiago Splitter, Nene Hilario and Anderson Varejao to form the core of the very experienced Brazilian team who is one of the dark horses in the tournament.