Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Leandro Barbosa An Option For Lakers

It seems like every time there is some potential target in the sight of the Los Angeles Lakers it gets taken like Liam Neeson’s daughter. The Chris Paul fiasco being the most high-profile of the vanishing acts. Delonte West being a more recent and lesser example. Then there is the entire tease of Dwight Howard. But we don’t need to get into that…not on a Friday.

Recently the name of free agent C.J. Miles has popped up on the Lakers’ radar. Still very much in the market for a backup to Kobe Bryant the Lakers are said to also have interest in Leandro Barbosa.

Once a sixth man of the year in the Mike D’Antoni run-and-gun offense Barbosa’s production has dipped in the last few years. This past season he spent time between Toronto and Indiana averaging just 11 a game in a reserve role.

Should the Lakers pursue they’ll undoubtedly have to exercise the mini mid level exception they’re so eager not to use. Despite his decline in production Barbosa still made a nice salary of $7-million last season. That means by accepting  the mini mid level Barbosa would be taking a reduction of more than 50% in salary.

For the Lakers they could stand to use someone with a scorer’s mentality coming off the bench. Barbosa’s better days might be behind him but he’s still got a solid stroke from deep and he is among the quickest guards in the game.

When compared to Miles, Barbosa is not in the same class defensively but some allowances will have to be made when you’re shopping for talent at this stage in the game. Of course nothing is official as the Lakers front office has repeatedly reminded us not to expect major moves. So this talk could end up being more hot wind.

Tags: Leandro Barbosa

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