9. Leandro Barbosa
The Spurs drafted Barbosa with the 28th overall pick in 2003, but he was traded to the Phoenix Suns for a future first-round pick. The defending champions were loaded with talent and needed to find more minutes of Manu Ginobili. San Antonio did not need another prospect to develop, so they kicked the draft pick two years down the road.
Barbosa quickly cracked the Suns rotation and was a key role player for 14 years in the NBA. The 6’3 guard won Sixth Man of the Year in 2007 and was a crucial member of the Seven Seconds of Less Suns that reached three conference finals. He was traded to the Raptors in 2012 and played for five different teams over his last seven seasons in the NBA.
He helped the Warriors win a championship in 2015 and made it back to the NBA Finals in 2016 before rejoining the Suns for his final NBA season. Barbosa played overseas for a few years to wrap up his playing career. In 2021, the Brazilian Blur joined Golden State’s coaching staff and won a second championship ring.
Leandro Barbosa never landed in San Antonio. He would have been the perfect role player under Gregg Popovich, but the two sides never made it happen.