Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Leandro Barbosa on L.A.’s Radar? Steve Nash Recruits Former Teammate

By @tony_riccobono a.riccobono@ibtimes.com on

The Los Angeles Lakers have made multiple blockbuster trades this offseason, but they still aren't done making moves.

Leandro Barbosa could be the next player to join L.A.

The free agent is in talks with multiple NBA teams, including the Lakers. The Suns and Nets also have interest in the shooting guard.

There were rumors when the season ended that Barbosa would sign with the Lakers. When Los Angeles brought in Jodie Meeks, it looked like the free agent would have to find another team. Now, one of the newest Lakers is lobbying for the team to acquire Barbosa.

Fabio Balassiano of UOL Esporte in Brazil spoke to Barbosa, who told him that L.A.'s starting point guard has been recruiting him.

"Among others, I'm talking with Phoenix, the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers," said Barbosa. "Steve Nash even texted me because he wants me there."

Barbosa would be a good addition to an already strong Lakers team. He's averaged at least 9.5 points every year since 2005. Last season, he averaged 11.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest.

The Brazil native likely wouldn't be intimidated by playing in a high pressure situation in L.A. In his nine NBA seasons, he made it to the playoffs six times.

If winning is Barbosa's top priority, there's a good chance he'll end up in Los Angeles. The Lakers have become one of the favorites to win the championship. After trading for Nash and Dwight Howard this summer, they have surpassed the Oklahoma City Thunder as the top team in the West.

Barbosa made $7.6 million a year ago, though he'd have to take a pretty big pay cut to go to L.A. The most the Lakers could offer him is the mini mid-level exception, which is worth around $3 million per season.

The guard said he would accept the veteran's minimum to play for a team with a chance to win. The Suns barely missed the postseason in 2012, but they won't be a contender. Phoenix will likely be one of the worst teams in their conference without Steve Nash.

Brooklyn could be on Barbosa's radar. They are one of the favorites in the East, with the addition of Joe Johnson and the re-signing of Deron Williams.

Los Angeles has a pretty full roster, so Barbosa would have to fight for playing time. He'd compete with Meeks for minutes when Kobe Bryant is on the bench.

Lakers training camp is set to open on Sept. 29, 2012.

Join the Discussion