The Lakers are reportedly interested in Pacers free agent Leandro Barbosa. (Issac Baldizon/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in signing Indiana Pacers unrestricted free agent Leandro Barbosa, according to tweets on Thursday from Marc Stein of ESPN.
The Lakers have roster room for Barbosa, who made $ 7.6 million with the Pacers last season, but he would probably only receive a veterans minimum salary to play in Los Angeles.
Next season, the Lakers will make Kobe Byrant the highest paid player in the league at $ 27 million and will also pay over $ 50 million over the next year to its core of Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Steve Nash and Andrew Bynum.
Antawn Jamison, who made $ 15 million last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, signed with the Lakers this offseason for a one-year veteran’s minimum deal worth $ 1.4 million.
The Lakers currently have Steve Blake backing up Nash, so adding Barbosa would add flexibility and depth to the backcourt. He is still a good defender and can play multiple positions because of his speed, giving him the nickname, “The Brazilian Blur.”
Barbosa won the NBA Sixth Man award in 2007 when he played for the Phoenix Suns alongside Nash. Last season, he averaged 11.1 points on 43-percent shooting. He and the Brazilian team lost by one point to Andrei Kirilenko and the Russian team during Olympic play on Thursday.
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