In an interview with basketusa.com, Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo said free agent Leandro Barbosa will be testing the free agent or make a return to Brazil:
I know he intends to test the free agent market or eventually return to Brazil. For now, I do not know of any that I have not yet had his agent. But at the same time, he tests the market, there will still be in a position to sign over several years. Anyway, it’s one of my favorite players.
I’m sure another aspect to all this is the inevitable NBA lockout. Many players such as San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker, Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith and other expressed an interest in playing overseas should the lockout occur. However, Barbosa may just be wanting to return to Brazil permanently.
As for Barbosa, any team would enjoy adding a proven NBA guard. Last season with Toronto, the sever-year pro averaged 13.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists in 58 games. A significant increase from his final season with the Phoenix Suns.
Barbosa has a player option of $7.6 million and Colangelo did mention the possibility of resigning him is still an option but will the lure of returning to his home country be the difference maker?