Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported this morning that the Raptors have traded Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers in return for a second-round pick, presumably in the upcoming draft. Considering the Pacers’ current place in the standings, the pick will probably be in the 50s — which is like Solomon Alabi territory. The trade will save the Raptors around $2 million in salary on Barbosa’s expiring contract and will enable him to play some meaningful basketball over the next couple of months, which is nice.
I never considered Barbosa to be part of the Raptors’ plans beyond this season, so I can’t say I’m broken up about this. Jerryd Bayless and Gary Forbes would appear to be the guys who will pick up Barbosa’s minutes. Bayless is a restricted free agent after this season, so he’ll benefit from the ability to play 30 minutes per game over the rest of the season — regardless of whether Jose Calderon is in the lineup.
There were a fair number of Raptors fans who thought that Barbosa would be able to fetch a significantly higher draft pick than this late second rounder. Like most fans of every team, these people drastically overvalued the market value of their own player. Barbosa is a decent sixth man on an expiring contract who can give you some scoring punch, and nothing else.
Bryan Colangelo could have hung on to Barbosa on principle because of the lack of juicy offers, but he obviously concluded that there was no point in keeping Barbosa buried on a team going nowhere this season. The two of them have a history that dates back to 2003 in Phoenix, so this is basically a favor for a friend. I’m fine with that, and I hope Barbosa has a deep playoff run with the Pacers.
Update 1: Eric Smith tweeted that Anthony Carter might also be included in the trade, although it’s unlikely he’ll ever suit up for the Pacers. I’ll assume nobody reading this is even remotely upset about this development.
Update 2: Tim Chisholm from TSN reports that the Raptors have received a $7.6 million trade exception in the deal.
Update 3: The Raptors have now officially waived Anthony Carter.