MONDAY, 9:54pm: We learned last week that the Suns planned on keeping guard Leandro Barbosa for the rest of the season. After tonight’s win, President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and Coach Jeff Hornacek informed the veteran that he will in fact be with the club for the remainder of the 2013/14 campaign, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
The veteran guard admitted to being nervous over being in contract limbo, but he’s breathing a sigh of relief after hearing the good news.
“My shoulder is not 100 percent but I’m trying to help the team,” Barbosa said. “It’s a great, talented team. Very fun. I’m happy that I found out I’m going to stay. I’m going to pray and thank God because it was a hard time for me when I did the surgery. If I look back and see what I’ve been through, many people didn’t believe I could come back and play for the NBA again. Now, they say they want to stay with me for the rest of the year. It’s a great thing. There are more things for me to do. It’s not like I’m going to get the contract and chill. Now I’m going to work really hard because I really want to help the team and I know I can. But, for now, thank you Phoenix.”
The 31-year-old returned to the NBA following some tough injury rehab and a successful stint playing in his native Brazil. While filling in for the injured Eric Bledsoe, Barbosa has put up 8.6 PPG and 2.0 APG with a PER of 10.6 in 21.5 minutes per contest.