The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Leandro Barbosa, per Adrian Wojnarowski. This move doesn’t come as a surprise, as Phoenix has stated they are looking towards an all youth movement. With this release, the Suns gain $3.5-million dollars back in cap space.
This release was made before Barbosa’s contract would have been guaranteed. Barbosa originally signed a 2-year, $8-million contract in the 2016 offseason. If the Suns choose to bring him back, they could for a lesser deal, but this was about having more room to bring in more assets and salary dumps.
Leandro Barbosa has 14 years of experience in the NBA and his first seven seasons were spent in the Valley of the Sun. He made a name for himself winning Sixth Man of the Year back in the 2006-2007 season, where he had his best season, averaging a career-high 18.1 points per game off the bench.
Barbosa instantly became a fan favorite in Phoenix, with his nickname being the “Brazilian Blur.” Talk about a highly entertaining player with his speed, quickness and unorthodox shot. In his prime in Phoenix, he was one of the fastest players in the league, therefore, earning that nickname.
Barbosa then came back to Phoenix in the 2013-2014 NBA season, but only managed to play 20 games that season. He then made a two-year pit-stop on the Golden State Warriors and won a championship with them in 2015. Then in the 2016 offseason, he signed back in Phoenix to help mentor a young Suns team. This past season he played 14.4 minutes a game and averaged 6.3 points on 43.9 percent shooting and 35.7 percent from downtown.
The Suns look to have enough guards on their roster so this move makes sense. They just drafted Davon Reed, a versatile wing player who could get decent playing time this season at the shooting guard position. Along with Brandon Knight, if he doesn’t get dealt in the offseason.
True fans of the game and Suns fans appreciate what Leandro Barbosa gave to the NBA. He has had a long and successful career in the league. There is still light at the end of the tunnel, so expect a team to pick him up before the 2017-2018 NBA season begins.