With Leandro Barbosa facing an option for the 2011-2012 season, there was talk the Brazilian speedster might head back home in the event of a lockout, calling it quits in the NBA with his quickness fading due to wear and tear. Turns out that’s not the case, as the London Free Press reports:
Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo told QMI Agency Saturday afternoon that Barbosa has picked up his $7.6 million U.S. player option for the 2011-2012 season. Barbosa beat a midnight deadline to make a call.
Even with a significant threat of lockout, it appears that the money is too important. Not a bad plan. Barbosa can continue to heal from injuries which bothered him last season during the lockout, and resume getting paid the $7.6 million he’s due by activating the option. With the Raptors drafting Jonas Valanciunas who won’t be joining us until 2012, the roster will likely be much the same as it was last season, so when play does resume, Barbosa will still be scrapping for minutes alongside Jose Calderon, Jerryd Bayless, Sonny Weems and the occassional DeMar DeRozan stint at shooting guard. Still, better for us to get to see the blur for a few more games. On an expiring contract, he’ll also make a nice trade asset for Colangelo if he can skewer him in one.