Leandro Barbosa will return to the Suns, according to media reports, in a move likely intended to add to Phoenix’s bench scoring in the unsettling wake of point guard Eric Bledsoe’s knee injury.
Bledsoe, who sprained his right knee in last Monday’s rout of the Clippers in Los Angeles, is expected to miss at least the next week.
The Suns are bringing back Barbosa, a rapid provider of offense during the halcyon days of former coach Mike D’Antoni, on a 10-day contract. The 31-year-old Barbosa, who played with the Celtics last season before tearing an ACL, has been scoring 20 points per game for a team in the Brazilian pro league this season.
Although this move isn’t necessarily an indicator that Bledsoe’s injury might be worse than first anticipated, it does remind us of rookie Archie Goodwin’s inability to make open jumpers and good decisions off the dribble.
Working as the fourth guard in a backcourt featuring Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Gerald Green, Goodwin has contributed fits of solid defense that sometimes bely his experience level. The 19-year-old rookie from Kentucky remains physically capable of gaining the needed skill and experience to become a good all-around NBA player. But with the Suns currently perched on the seventh seed in the Western Conference, adding a veteran scoring asset (provided he passes a physical) until Bledsoe returns makes sense.
And if Barbosa — the NBAâs Sixth Man of the Year in 2007 — can recapture a reasonable measure of his previous capacity to score lots of points in a short period of time, he could be around longer.