Sunday , Jun , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Barbosa opts-in; discussing long-term extension with Raptors

It appears Leandro Barbosa will not be heading back to Brazil after all. 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.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement for player and team.

The player, Leandro Barbosa, gets another year with the Toronto Raptors at $7.6 million. The Brazilian is still productive, but wouldn’t command such a wage as a free agent.

After all, Barbosa is no longer a perennial candidate for Sixth Man of the Year or even a top reserve. Injuries and age have taken a toll.

There’s also uncertainty surrounding the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The new CBA will alter the league’s financial landscape, limiting the leverage a veteran like Barbosa would have on the open market.

So taking the guaranteed money made sense. It was a no-brainer.

However, the Raptors are also pleased. Barbosa will model professionalism for the team’s younger core. And he still has moments as an off-the-bench, game-changer; new coach Dwane Casey will take advantage of his speed on defense.

Word is Barbosa and the Raptors are talking extension. And this mutually beneficial arrangement will likely continue past 2012.

–Oly Sandor.

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