Trade Candidate: Leandro Barbosa

February 14 2012 at 4:41pm CDT By Luke Adams

While he's not putting up the same overall numbers he did during his years under Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix, Leandro Barbosa has produced solidly and consistently during the last two seasons with the Raptors. In 86 total games in Toronto, Barbosa has provided the Raps with a scoring spark off the bench, recording 12.8 points and 14.9 PER in 23.3 minutes per game.

With Barbosa playing for a non-contending Raptors team in the final year of his contract, it stands to reason that a playoff team in need of bench scoring could have interest in acquiring him. Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo confirmed as much during a team broadcast earlier this month, admitting he's "had a few calls" inquiring on the 29-year-old.

Colangelo stressed that for the club to consider a deal involving Barbosa, it would need to maintain its cap flexibility going forward. So, like most rebuilding teams, the Raptors will likely be seeking some combination of draft picks, expiring contracts, and young, inexpensive talent.

A few of the teams who miss out on signing J.R. Smith when he returns from China may decide to turn their attentions to Barbosa as the trade deadline approaches. Barbosa lacks Smith's size, but both players are capable of scoring baskets in bunches, and stretching the floor with their outside shooting.

The Lakers have a pair of first-round picks and a trade exception that could be used to absorb Barbosa's contract, though there are likely a handful of cheaper players they're considering, including Gilbert Arenas. The Pacers are well below the cap and could acquire Barbosa without compromising their long-term plans. Barbosa could also be a fit with the Timberwolves, Knicks, Clippers, Spurs, or Bulls, among others.

Colangelo will continue to receive calls on Barbosa over the next month, but shouldn't feel pressured to move the 6'3" guard. With Barbosa's $7.6MM salary set to be wiped off the books this summer, the Raptors can afford to hang on to him and clear some cap space if they don't receive a trade offer they like.

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