A interview of Colangelo surfaced yesterday where he commented on the status of Leandro Barbosa. Here’s a translation from the French transcription:
I know he intends to test the free agent market or eventually return to Brazil. For now, I have not yet contacted his agent. But at the same time, if he tests the market, we will still be in a position to sign him over several years. Anyway, he’s one of my favorite players.
Nothing that we couldn’t add up ourselves, really, but it was a little surprising that Barbosa is keen on testing the free-agent market. On first glance you’d think that the $7.6M he’s due is going to be hard to beat considering he’s only played 44 and 58 games the last two seasons. The only logic here is that he could be able to get a longer deal which would accumulate to a larger sum than what he might command next summer. I would say it’s pretty silly to sign Barbosa to a multi-year deal of any sort when the overall direction of the team is in relative flux, and will be regardless of what happens this summer. There’s of course interest from Brazil as well. Barbosa’s contract has been discussed a lot the last week on these pages so I’ll refrain from further comment, whatever needs to be said has been said.
Official reviews of Eurocamp are coming in and it’s not looking good for Bismack Biyombo again. My favorite quote comes from an anonymous NBA GM:
“Bismack Biyombo played one-against-none today … and he lost.”
Let’s quickly round-up some of the mock drafts.
|Draft Express||Kemba Walker, PG|
|NBA Draft||Jan Vesely, SF/PF|
|ESPN||Jan Vesely, SF/PF|
|Yahoo Sports||Kemba Walker, PG|
|NBA.com||Jan Vesely, SF/PF|
|CBS Sports||Jan Vesely, SF/PF|
|Fox Sports:||Kawhi Leonard, F|
|RotoWorld||Kemba Walker, PG|
|HoopsHype||Kawhi Leonard, F|
|Hoopsworld||Kawhi Leonard, F|
Kawhi Leonard is gaining steam, likely because of his strong workout with the Wizards when he outplayed Texas small forward Jordan Hamilton. Here’s his interview after the Wizards workout where he says that the reason for his rise in the draft boards is that teams are finally seeing his strong work ethic in the flesh and liking it. He claims to bring “defense and rebounding” to the fore and is working at becoming a better “catch and shoot from the three” player. He’ll be in Toronto on Wednesday.
If Leonard is the guy Colangelo is after with that second top ten pick he’s looking to acquire, then the whole Bargnani at the three idea probably isn’t happening. I am very curious about how he’d fare as a small forward, the last (and only) time that happened was against Orlando in the playoffs when Hedo Turkoglu lit him up. During the Jermaine O’Neal experiment they moved him around a bit to have Bosh, O’Neal and him on the court at the same time, but I don’t recall how it worked out.
I’m for the idea on paper because defensively he can’t have any worse of an influence on the team. The skepticism of the strategy comes from Bargnani’s insistence that he needs to be playing his “natural position” of power forward. If he’s complaining about receiving 35 minutes a night at center, I can’t even imagine how he’d react to having to move his feet on defense guarding the wing. Assuming defense is a wash, I’m not even so sure that his height advantage will translate to an offensive advantage, and it could potentially hurt his offensive numbers because a quicker, more mobile defender will be able to contest his jumpers while not conceding the drive. Think Chris Bosh vs Trenton Hassell.
RR Draft party is happening, info here.