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Leandro Barbosa Talking To Suns, Nets, Lakers

8:17pm: Howard Beck of the New York Times hears that the Nets are unlikely to sign Barbosa, given their depth at both guard spots (Twitter links). 

6:19pm: Leandro Barbosa is one of the most prominent free agents still on the market, and the Brazilian guard recently told Fábio Balassiano of UOL Esporte that he's in talks with the Suns, Nets and Lakers (Portuguese link; translation via HoopsHype). Barbosa added that former Suns teammate Steve Nash has been sending text messages his way to try to recruit him to L.A.

The Lakers were close to signing him during the Olympics, but the team's deal with Jodie Meeks caused them to back off, Barbosa said. It's hard to put too much weight on comments he made in another language, but Barbosa appeared to indicate he's willing to take the minimum salary from the Lakers or another contending club. The Lakers still have $1.59MM of their taxpayer's mid-level exception remaining after using $1.5MM of it on Meeks, which is a little more than the $1.229MM that Barbosa, as a nine-year veteran, would receive at the minimum-salary level.

The Nets probably fit the profile of a contending club as well. They could offer the biannual exception of $1.957MM, but that would cause them to be hard-capped this season, something they've sought to avoid. The Suns still have more than $8MM in cap space, so they could simply overwhelm the other clubs with the amount of money in their offer if they chose to do so.

Barbosa said in the report that he would go back to Brazil if he can't find a deal in the NBA, but that seems unlikely. Hoops Rumors readers tabbed Barbosa as the best remaining free agent by a wide margin a few days ago.

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