Green Target: Leandro Barbosa
Leandro Barbosa's play was easily one of the bright spots for the Celtics this season. He was brought in during the middle of the preseason basically to be used as 3rd string insurance while Bradley recovered from his shoulder surgeries. Even as a 3rd string player who missed half of the season, Barbosa definitely made a case to take Terry's place as 6th man (or Bradley's place in the starting lineup) during the 2012-2013 campaign.
The C's signed Barbosa to a 1 year deal last October. During the season he only had 7 games in which he scored in double figures (averaged 5.2 ppg this year), but in each of those games he definitely was the C's best or 2nd best player on those nights. On February 11 during a game agaisnt the Charlotte Bobcats Barbosa suffered probably the most significant injury of his career, tearing his ACL in his 12th minute of play. Just days after the injury Boston sent him to D.C. in exchange for Jordan Crawford. Once these NBA Finals wrap up and July comes around Barbosa will again be a free agent, question is will Danny sign him? The bigger question is will he be ready to play come next season?
Can the Celtics afford to bring Barbosa Back?
Almost certainly. Leandro Barbosa's previous salary was only around 850K, same as free agent Chris Wilcox, so if Wilcox isn't resigned getting LB back is possible. (Sadly) the Celtics have a ton backcourt players and it would definitely be easier to add another cheap guard to the roster if we didn't have guards in abundance (Rondo, Bradley, Lee [trade bait], Terry [also trade bait], Crawford - maybe Williams).
Pros and Cons of "The Brazilian Blur" Barbosa:
Pros - LB is a huge spark off the bench. He can take over a game with his inside & outside scoring abilities, and his pesky defense is definitely a plus. His ridiculous speed and hustle are some of his greatest strengths. (Barbosa vs Heat) (Barbosa vs Raptors)
Cons - Barbosa is coming off of a season ending ACL tear and we know all ACL tears aren't the same. Examples - Derrick Rose tore his ACL over a year ago and hasn't played an NBA game since April, 2012. Iman Shumpert suffered this same injury, on the exact same day, but returnedon January 17th. Rajon Rondo tore his ACL in a game against the Hawks, but suited up for the next game against Miami not knowing the severity of his injury.
LB's injury seemed nearly or as severe as Rose's since both players needed the assistance of teammates to be helped off court.
Considering the Cons, would you take the chance?
Personally, I would. It's obviously not as big a risk as, say Greg Oden, and Barbosa has proven to us that he can still be a force on a team that is in need of scorers. His off court chemistry with these Celtics and veteran leadership are also key attributes he brings to the table.
Would you bring Leandro Barbosa back to the C's?
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