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Leandrinho

Leandrinho

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Leandrinho
Birth date: 
November 28, 1982

Leandro Mateus Barbosa (born November 28, 1982) is a Brazilian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns of the NBA. In Brazil he is nicknamed "Leandrinho" (Little Leandro), and in the USA he is nicknamed "The Brazilian Blur", referring to his speed.

Barbosa started his career at Palmeiras when he was 17. He played on Paulista (São Paulo's) Championship under the command of Lula Ferreira, the future Brazil national team coach. At 19, he played on the principal team of Palmeiras on Paulista (São Paulo's) Championship. After that he was traded to Tilibra/Bauru on January 2001.

During his first season as a professional in Brazil, playing for Tilibra/Bauru, he was coached by Jorge Guerra. He averaged 15.8 points, 6.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He was chosen as Rookie of the Year during the Paulista of 2001. Barbosa ended the season as the fourth ranked player in three-point percentage, sixth in assists and eleventh in field goals. In 2002, he won the Brazilian Basketball League with Bauru, and was drafted for the Brazil national basketball team who played in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.

At 6'3" with a 6'10" wingspan, he was selected 28th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs but his rights were acquired by the Suns in a trade for a future protected first-round pick. Barbosa holds the Suns record for points scored in a game by a rookie as a first-time starter, with 27 against the Chicago Bulls on January 5, 2004. He set the Suns' record for three-point field goals by a rookie in consecutive games when he hit at least one three-pointer per game during a ten-game streak from January 2 to January 19.

During the 2006–2007 season, Barbosa averaged 18.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 32.7 minutes per game despite playing off the bench, and was the recipient of the 2006–07 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.

He scored a career high of 41 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 20, 2009. On July 14, 2010, Barbosa was traded along with Dwayne Jones to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Hedo Türkoğlu. During his time in Toronto, Leandro significantly increased his scoring total from his last season in Phoenix. During the 2011–12 NBA season, Barbosa was traded to the Indiana Pacers for a future second-round pick. Barbosa was re-united with former Suns player Lou Amundson, and the duo helped Indiana improve significantly enough to make it to the second round of the playoffs before losing to Miami.

On October 18, 2012, Barbosa signed with the Boston Celtics. On February 21, 2013, Barbosa and Jason Collins were traded to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Jordan Crawford. Despite being on the team during that time, he'd never play for the Wizards in the process.

On January 8, 2014, Barbosa signed a 10-day contract with the Phoenix Suns. Barbosa would immediately play for the Suns in their 104–103 close victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He'd have his best night during the first 10-day contract on January 13 against the New York Knicks when Barbosa would score 21 points, which was his first 20+ point game since 2012 back when he played for Boston. However, Barbosa would have a right shoulder strain after the game.

On January 18, Barbosa signed a second 10-day contract with the Suns. He'd make his first home debut with the Suns in over 4 years a day later in a 117–103 blowout victory against the Denver Nuggets. During his second 10-day contract, Barbosa's best performance came on January 24 at home against the Washington Wizards, where he would score 10 points against them.

On January 28, 2014, following the Suns' road game against the Philadelphia 76ers, which subsequently marked the end of his second 10-day contract, the Suns liked Barbosa's production for the team and decided to sign him for the rest of the 2013–14 NBA season.

On August 18, 2011, during the 2011 NBA lockout, Barbosa signed with Flamengo Basketball in Brazil. His deal had an out-clause that would allow him to return to the NBA once the 2011 lockout ended.

On November 19, 2013, Barbosa signed with the Esporte Clube Pinheiros of Brazil for the 2013–14 season. In January 2014, he returned to the United States to play in the NBA once again.

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