Suns Waive Leandro Barbosa

The Suns are waiving veteran guard Leandro Barbosa, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter). The timing of the move doesn’t come as a surprise — Barbosa’s salary for 2017/18 would have become fully guaranteed if he remained under contract beyond today.

Barbosa, 34, joined the Suns on a two-year contract last summer, but the second year was only partially guaranteed for $500K. By cutting Barbosa, Phoenix will save $3.5MM on his $4MM total salary.

The Brazilian guard played a part-time role for the Suns last season, rejoining the franchise with which he started his career. In 67 games (14.4 MPG), Barbosa averaged 6.3 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and 1.2 APG, with a shooting line of .439/.357/.889.

Phoenix entered the offseason with aspirations of landing an impact player like Blake Griffin or Paul Millsap. However, after seeing several Western Conference teams – including the Rockets, Thunder, Timberwolves, and Nuggets – make impact moves to load up their rosters, the Suns opted to stay out of the fray. They’ll focus instead on developing their young players and plan to use their cap room to accommodate other teams’ salary dumps, acquiring draft picks or young players in the process.

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