Waiving Barbosa, a longtime fan favorite on his second tour with the franchise, saves the Suns $3.5 million, pushing Phoenix's space to nearly $12 million. The Suns could expand their salary-cap space to $25 million should they renounce restricted free-agent center Alex Len.
If Barbosa, 34, clears waivers, he is sure to become a sought-after veteran player among NBA contenders on the free-agent market. He averaged 6.3 points in only 14.4 minutes per game last season.
The NBA's marketplace is teeming with clubs looking to shed high-money contracts, including Toronto, Milwaukee, New York and the Los Angeles Clippers. Phoenix is angling to use its salary cap space as a landing spot for salary dumps, if those contracts are attached to young players or draft picks.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is committed to growing a gifted young group of talent, including Devin Booker, TJ Warren, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and the No. 4 pick in the June NBA draft, forward Josh Jackson.