Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail reports:
The Toronto Raptors may get an unexpected break as they try to remake their team in the wake of a 22-60 season.
Brazilian veteran Leandro Barbosa is considering opting out of the final year of a contract scheduled to pay him $7.6-million for 2011-12.
According to his brother Arturo, the shooting guard is receiving feelers from some top club teams at home who want to bring back the top Brazilian player of his generation.
“The situation is this: it would not be responsible of me as his brother to not consider the Brazil option,” said Arturo Barbosa. “Leandro loves Toronto he loves the fans and the relationships with everybody, but business is business. An athlete’s career is short and there are a lot of sponsorship opportunities [in Brazil] especially with the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.”
The leading candidate for Barbosa’s services, apparently, is Flamengo, Brazilian basketball champions in 2008 and 2009 who play in Rio de Janeiro. The club’s soccer side recently brought soccer star Ronaldinho back to the fold to finish his career after his run in Europe.