The Phoenix Suns liked what they saw from Leandro Barbosa this past week, and signed him to another 10-day contract despite part of that being missed due to a shoulder injury.
Suns guard Leandro Barbosa played in four games, all on the road, before injuring his shoulder in the fourth quarter of the New York Knicks loss. Barbosa made two free throws to tie the game and force overtime, but missed the OT with the injury.
He has not played in two games since, but has expressed improvement since the first day and expects to play in the near future. The Suns apparently agree, and have used the provision in the CBA to sign him to another 10-day contract before committing to the entire season.
That 10-day contract allows the Suns to make sure Barbosa heals from the shoulder injury enough to make a difference for the team. As long as he heals, the team expects to keep him around all season - even after Eric Bledsoe returns.
Both coach Hornacek and GM McDonough mentioned in various ways how they want him around. Hornacek said he expects him to last all season, and McDonough said the veteran would be needed in case of a playoff push.
The last time the Suns acquired a backup point guard for a playoff push, they jettisoned Goran Dragic and a first round pick to acquire him (Aaron Brooks). This time, they pulled in a former Sixth Man of the Year for the league minimum - a much lower risk proposition in case the player doesn't fit in or stay healthy.
The Suns press release on the signing mentions Barbosa's early career exploits with the Suns:
The 6-3, 194-pound Barbosa is in his 11th season in the NBA, the first seven of which were played with the Suns, as he averaged 12.6 points, 2.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 466 games with Phoenix from 2003-10. Barbosa won the 2006-07 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award with the Suns after posting career-highs of 18.1 points and 4.0 assists per game.