With Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison officially in the fold for the upcoming season along with Meeks and the recently re-signed Jordan Hill, few people believed that more moves were needed with the Lakers’ front office addressing needs off the bench and in the starting lineup.
Unfortunately, after a 0-6 start to the preseason, the bench appears to be just as weak if not worse than it was last season. Granted, Hill is injured and a lot of different players have been coming in and out of the rotation over the course of these six games, but the second unit still appears to need a lot of work moving forward.
One player that was rumored to be in the Lakers’ crosshairs was former Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa. With Barbosa’s ties to Nash and mutual interest in signing with Los Angeles, the prospect of the veteran inking a deal with the Lakers seemed possible until the Boston Celtics came out of nowhere and signed him for the veteran’s minimum recently.
This move by the Celtics took everyone by surprise as it really didn’t make much sense after signing Courtney Lee and Jason Terry over the summer. Regardless of the crowded backcourt in Boston and the Lakers’ interest, Barbosa chose to sign with the Celtics and here’s his explanation for why he made the choice via Steve Bulpett of BostonHerald.com:
“The Lakers were interested in me, but I think Boston would be better for me,” he said. “I don’t know why. My agent, we had that talk and he said it would be great for me to be here. It’s the kind of situation I’m looking for, especially to play with Rondo. He likes to run, and I love to run, so I think it will work really well.
“There were talks, a lot of talks of (the Lakers) and my agent. And I had a lot of talk with Steve (Nash). We are kind of close as friends. But nothing happened, so it happened here.”
Obviously, the Lakers dropped the ball with Barbosa. All indications show that he was ready to sign for the veteran’s minimum, but the Lakers weren’t willing to jump at the opportunity. Even though the Lakers’ front office made quite a few brilliant moves during the off-season, the decision not to sign Barbosa may have proven to be costly with the bench currently being an absolute mess.
Not sure how Boston will end up being better for Barbosa with little time on the floor next season unless an injury forces him into the rotation. Lee and Terry will see a lot of time at shooting guard while Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley rotate at the point guard position.
The only reason that it makes sense for Boston is insurance for Bradley with his recent injury problems. Other than that, Barbosa better get comfortable on the bench because he’ll likely never see the floor this season.
In case you missed it: Dwight Howard talks about his Lakers debut.
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