PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns declined a team option on guard Leandro Barbosa on Monday, saving the team $3.5 million in salary cap space.
The 34-year-old Barbosa had a $4 million contract for next season, with $500,000 guaranteed. The Suns are skewing their roster younger and though still productive, Barbosa’s entire contract would have been picked up if he was on the roster past Monday.
Barbosa averaged 6.3 points and shot 43 percent, including 35.7 percent from 3-point range, in 67 games last season during his third stint with Phoenix.
Barbosa has averaged 10.6 points in 14 NBA seasons that included stops in Toronto, Indiana and Golden State.
The Suns had targeted Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap during the free agency period, but Griffin re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix pulled out of the running for Millsap, who signed with Denver.
The Suns have a solid core filled with young players, including star-in-the-making guard Devin Booker, forward Dragan Bender and forward Marquese Chriss. Phoenix also used the fourth overall pick in this year’s NBA draft to take former Kansas star Josh Jackson.
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