It’s going to be interesting to see how Leandro Barbosa manages to come back after tearing his ACL last season, which means there’s a chance he might not be completely ready for the beginning of this one. However, according to his agent, who is also his brother, there’s already some interest in him from around the league, and specifically the Dallas Mavericks.
According to reports in Brazil, the Mavs, who never seem to run out of room or money to spend on guards specifically this offseason, have already reached out to Barbosa, who played for the Boston Celtics last season. He didn’t get too many minutes behind Rajon Rondo, but a chance to start suddenly became available after Rondo tore his ACL. Unfortunately, a few games later, the same thing happened to Barbosa, averaging 5.2 points per game at that point.
So far, most of the offers have been from Brazilian teams, where Barbosa last played in 2003. He has been in the NBA since the 2003-2004 season, playing seven seasons with the Phoenix Suns, enjoying his best year in 2006-2007, averaging 18.1 points per game coming off the bench.
Barbosa will turn 31 shortly after the beginning of the season. Making a comeback from that kind of injury in the fourth decade of your life isn’t the easiest thing for a player, but older players have managed to do it. The problem for Barbosa is being someone whose main advantage over other players has been his quickness, and that is usually the first thing to take a hit with such an injury.
Barbosa won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2007, but hasn’t averaged in double figures over the last couple of years. The biggest warning sign related to trying and signing him is his injury past: He hasn’t played more than 64 games in one season since 2008-2009.