Hornacek: Phoenix Suns decided to give Leandro Barbosa a shot

Jan 7, 2014, 5:29 PM | Updated: 5:43 pm
LISTEN: Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns Head Coach

Leandro Barbosa last wore a Phoenix Suns uniform in Game 6 of the 2010 Western Conference Finals. He scored 7 points on 3-of-9 shooting while dishing out two assists.

It was a quiet finish to what had been a pretty stellar run with the team, as the Suns shipped him to Toronto in the offseason in exchange for Hedo Turkoglu.

That trade didn’t work out so well for either party, as Barbosa has struggled to regain the form that made him the NBA’s Sixth Man of Year in 2007 and Turkoglu was shipped out of town the following December. A torn left ACL last season while a member of the Boston Celtics ended Barbosa’s season in February, and he’s been looking to get back in the NBA ever since.

He has done so, signing a 10-day contract with the Suns who are looking for insurance with guard Eric Bledsoe sidelined with a knee injury.

“Just a case that we knew Eric would be out this week and we’d have these five games in seven nights,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek told Doug and Wolf Tuesday. “Leandro is a guy that would fit into our system.”

In seven years with the Suns, Barbosa averaged 12.6 points, 2.6 assists and 1 steal per game. Mostly a reserve who played starter’s minutes, he was a key cog in the “Seven Seconds or Less” Suns and was part of three Western Conference Finals teams as well as a couple other deep playoff runs.

Of course, that was years ago, and no doubt the player who was known as “The Blur” is not quite the same guy today.

But, Hornacek noted that Barbosa was with the Celtics at the same time as GM Ryan McDonough, so the Suns have a pretty good idea of what they are getting.

“Everybody is familiar with the way he plays,” he said. “He had the knee surgery, the ACL, last year, and he’s been playing in Brazil and doing well.”

The coach added that when thinking of what to do with Bledsoe out, Barbosa’s name came up as a possible addition, and the organization decided to give it a shot.

“Bring him in for 10 days, see how his conditioning is, see how his knee is responding and how his quickness and all that is,” Hornacek said. “So we thought it might be a good try.”

Since last playing for the Suns, Barbosa has spent time with the Raptors, Celtics and Indiana Pacers. He’s a career .460 shooter, including .391 from three-point range.

Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives to the basket past Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns collapse in 4th quarter of road loss to Thunder

The Suns were in control for most of Sunday's game against the Thunder but bad turnovers eventually caught up to them.
2 days ago
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)...
Wills Rice

Landry Shamet plays well in Suns return, loss to Thunder

The Suns collapsed late in the 124-120 loss to the Thunder on Sunday in guard Landry Shamet's return after missing 25 games to a heel injury.
2 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Landry Shamet #14 after scoring against the Washin...
Arizona Sports

Suns rule Deandre Ayton out, Landry Shamet probable vs. Thunder

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton will not suit up Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a right hip contusion.
3 days ago
Radio broadcaster Al McCoy following the NBA game between the Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunde...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns’ 2022-23 season will be Al McCoy’s last

This Phoenix Suns season will be the last for legendary broadcaster Al McCoy as the team's play-by-play voice on Arizona Sports 98.7.
4 days ago
Josh Okogie #2 of the Phoenix Suns blocks a shot by Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic during t...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns hold on vs. Magic to snap 3-game losing streak

Sometimes getting that win to end a skid is like pulling teeth, and it was like that for the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.
5 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@DevNa79)...
Character Counts

Suns fan gifts tickets, surprise to boy struggling with bullying

An outspoken Phoenix Suns fan provided tickets to a young boy who had dealt with bullying at school and his mother.
5 days ago
Hornacek: Phoenix Suns decided to give Leandro Barbosa a shot