Leandro Barbosa thought he was heading back to the Celtics when he received a call from Suns GM Ryan McDonough, he tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Barbosa knew McDonough from his stay in Boston, and didn’t know he had been hired as the GM in Phoenix. “I didn’t know that until I got the call,” Barbosa said. “So when I got the call, I was surprised. I thought Boston was interested in myself. But then he (McDonough) explained it to me. ‘Oh, you’re in Phoenix?’ I was happy either way, just to get the opportunity to go back to the NBA.” Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- Jazz standout Gordon Hayward tells Howard Beck of Bleacher Report that he’s excited for his upcoming restricted free agency. “It’s weird to think about,” Hayward said, “just because it’s been four years and you kind of see yourself as staying with whatever team you get drafted by. But we’ll see where it goes. I can’t worry about it now. I’m just excited about where it can go.”
- Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders scouted the Big 12 Tournament yesterday, and is doing the same at the SEC tournament today, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link).
- The Kings’ addition of Royce White, who might get his first playing time in the NBA soon, on consecutive 10-day contracts is a small gamble that an organization like Sacramento must take, writes Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. While White is looking for a team that can accommodate his mental health issues and offer him an opportunity in the summer league and beyond, the Kings aren’t thinking much beyond the coming days. “I see Royce as a mature guy who is trying to get where he needs to go,” Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro said. “There is untapped potential. Can he get there? That’s really going to be up to him. I have to give him credit. A lot of players would not have been willing to come to the D-League, and we spoke about that from the beginning. And he’s already come in here and done some good things. We’ll look at the full 10 days, then make a decision on where to go from there.”