And that is where Leandro Barbosa comes into the picture.
Barbosa is a Solid Vet Who Knows His Role
The 6'3" Barbosa is a nine-year NBA veteran who could immediately step into a back-up role on a mature, "win-now" Lakers roster. Los Angeles simply does not have time to nurture young, developing players, and Barbosa would hit the ground running.
Barbosa is accustomed to playing off the bench and won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2007.
Barbosa Can Score
One of the Lakers' biggest weaknesses is scoring from the second unit and Barbosa could address this need. Over the last two seasons Barbosa has come off the bench for the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers and put up numbers that would likely be similar to what he would do in Los Angeles:
Leandro Barbosa's 2010 & 2011 Stats
22.8 MPG, 12.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.9 SPG, 44% FG/36% 3PT/80% FT
The 29-year-old Barbosa could give the Lakers some much needed scoring off the bench. While the rest of his game (rebounding, assists, defense) are uninspiring, his offensive skills would bring a spark the Lakers currently lack.
A Legitimate 3-Point Weapon
In 2012 the Lakers shot a combined 32.6% from the 3-point line, bad enough for 25th in the league.
Again, Leandro Barbosa could help.
Throughout his career Barbosa is a solid 39.1% 3-point shooter, which would immediately make him the Lakers' second best shooter from downtown behind Steve Nash.
At one point Barbosa was among the NBA's best 3-point shooters, finishing third in the league in 2006 (44.4%) and seventh in 2007 (43.4%).
It's Time to Settle
Outside of being a veteran presence, good scorer, and solid 3-point shooter, Leandro Barbosa brings little else to the table. He is not a great defender. His career 2.4 assists per game are uninspiring for a guard, as are his career 2.3 rebounds.
But sometimes it's okay to just settle.
As a Lakers fan, I would be fine if the Lakers settled with Leandro Barbosa.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles: