Welcome back, Leandro.
AZ Sports 620's John Gambadoro broke the news that the Phoenix Suns plan to sign former fan favorite Leandro Barbosa to a 10-day contract at the start of the team's 5-game road trip this week.
The Phoenix Suns are working to finalize a 10 day contract with former sun Leandra Barbosa— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) January 5, 2014
Barbosa who played with Boston last year will be in insurance for the injury to Eric Bledsoe— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) January 5, 2014
AZ Central's Paul Coro confirmed the news:
Barbosa will meet the #Suns in Chicago. 10-day is pending a physical. He was playing in Brazil. Last played for McDonough's Celtics in Feb.— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) January 5, 2014
Leandro Barbosa, 31, suffered an ACL tear last year and has been playing well in Brazil this season, averaging 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists with the Pinheiros. Check out some recent highlights of the Blur's play in Brazil:
With Eric Bledsoe's recent knee sprain, this signing will serve as a clear insurance move to shore up the Suns' bench. As a 31 year old guard coming back from an ACL tear, especially as one who depends on his speed and quickness to succeed, it remains to be seen how well Barbosa will play in his return to the Valley.
Suns fans obviously have fond memories of his time here - the Blur was a key component of Mike D'Antoni's "Seven Seconds or Less" teams, even winning a 6th Man of the Year award in 2007. He was last seen in Phoenix as Goran Dragic's back-court mate off the bench for a Suns team that made the Western Conference Finals in 2009-10. He was then traded to Toronto in the 2010 offseason that brought another Suns fan favorite, Hedo Turkoglu, to Phoenix. What, am I the only one who also has fond memories of the "Turkish Michael Jordan's" time in Phoenix?
Although this is clearly a low-risk move (at the very least, it will excite fans), it does make one wonder if the front office has any serious concerns about the injury to Eric Bledsoe, who as of now is only expected to be out one week. In any case, this is a good move to sign a familiar veteran who might be able to help the team's push to the postseason. Who knows just how long Barbosa's stay in Phoenix will last this time - a 10-day contract is very much a trial-and-fit sort of deal - but at the very least, it will be nice to see him back in purple and orange.
Welcome back, Blur.