Barbosa not what he once was

Leandro Barbosa is averaging just 10.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg and 1.7 apg this year.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa has been playing for three weeks since returning from an injured ankle and wrist, but he has yet to regain the form that made him the 2006-07 Sixth Man of the Year.

Through 26 games this season, Barbosa is averaging just 10.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg and 1.7 apg. Those numbers are drastically lower than his 2008-09 level which saw him post 14.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 2.3 apg in 24.5 minutes of action. And they are only about half of what he produced in his award-winning 2006-07 season (18.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.0 apg).

The problem is that Goran Dragic got some quality minutes during the three weeks that Barbosa was sidelined and performed well. For the season, Dragic is averaging 7.5 ppg in 16.9 minutes on the floor. Even after Barbosa returned on December 25, Dragic has still gotten enough minutes to limit Barbosa's statistics.

Barbosa is also getting just 8.8 shot-per-game. That's not enough to make a significant impact. It's down from 12.5 shots in 2007-08 and 10.8 shots a game last season. The number has been reduced ever since the Suns traded for shooting guard Jason Richardson and combined with the loss of court time to Dragic, cuts deeply into Barbosa's fantasy value.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like this situation will be resolved anytime soon.

Barbosa had an ADP of 67, but given the limits to time and shot opportunities, he is not likely to live up to those lofty expectations. So despite the fact that he is currently available in almost half of all leagues (57% ownership), I can't recommend picking him up.

Leandro Barbosa Career Statistics
YearGmPPGRPGAPGSPGBPGFG%3PT%FT%
2003-04707.91.82.41.30.144.739.577.0
2004-05637.02.12.00.50.147.536.779.7
2005-065713.12.62.80.80.148.144.475.7
2006-078018.12.74.01.20.247.643.484.5
2007-088215.62.82.60.90.246.238.982.2
2008-097014.22.62.31.20.148.237.588.1
2009-102610.81.51.70.60.242.935.085.7


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.