The Indiana Pacers added a little scoring pop to the team’s roster on Thursday by acquiring Leandro Barbosa from the Toronto Raptors, in exchange for a second round draft pick.
Yahoo! Sports reported the deal initially, which has since been confirmed by several others.
Barbosa has averaged 12.2 points in 22.3 minutes per game this season in Toronto, and should help the Pacers offensively, though likely only for the remainder of this season.
Barbosa is in the final year of a contract that pays him $7.6 million. The move is no-risk, high-reward for the Pacers, since they don’t lose any talent in the deal because they were able to absorb Barbosa’s salary into their existing cap space. At the end of the year, if they don’t like what Barbosa gave them or they aren’t interested in paying his market value for a new contract, they can simply let him walk and get that salary cap space right back.
Indiana currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, but is just 6-4 in its last 10 games.
On Toronto’s side, the team is its usual dismal self, and has a share of the fourth-worst record in the league at 14-29. It makes sense to shed Barbosa’s deal and acquire a pick that may help them rebuild in the future. Looks like the Raptors will also get Anthony Carter, according to SI.com’s Sam Amick. Carter was likely to be cut by the Pacers.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.