Father time is undefeated, eventually everybody gets old and there is simply nothing we can do to prevent it from happening. Leandro Barbosa was once one of the fastest players in the NBA, but with age and multiple injuries, he’s lost a step or two. Before coming to the Golden State Warriors, Barbosa was fighting to stay in the NBA, but it looked like he had the reached the end of the road.
This summer, Barbosa signed a one year deal with the Golden State Warriors to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, which means there is very little risk involved in this acquisition. However, the addition of Barbosa could prove to be one of the steals in the off-season. According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, Barbosa is a player to keep an eye out for and somebody who can have a positive impact in his first year with the Warriors:
Leandro Barbosa, Golden State: “The Roadrunner” signed a one-year minimum deal with the Warriors in August after playing part of last season in Phoenix. Barbosa isn’t the blur he once was, but with the Warriors looking for backup point guard help as Shaun Livingston mends for a few more weeks, the 31-year-old Barbosa is vying for some run. “He’s had a good camp and he does have his speed back,” one observer said. “Not all of it, but most of it.”
Even if the “Blur” isn’t as fast as he used to be, he’s still probably faster than most NBA players. Barbosa has had trouble staying healthy, which is why he hasn’t been able to stay consistent. If the 31 year-old can play 15-20 minutes per game and be an offensive spark off the bench, then the Warriors will have that much needed depth they’ve lacked last season. With Shaun Livingston’s return still up in the air, Barbosa could start the season as the primary back-up for Steph Curry, which would give him an early opportunity to prove his worth to head coach Steve Kerr.
Barbosa represented Brazil in the FIBA World Cup and played well. Although his team was unable to advance to the final, Barbosa showed flashes of his former self. The Warriors don’t expect him to be in contention for the 6th Man of the Year, but if he’s body is able to hold up during the rigors of an 82 game season, his speed will be a problem for opposing teams.