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Report: Andrea Bargnani “a lock to be moved”

Dec 29, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Toronto Raptors Andrea Bargnani reacts after hitting a shot during their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City Reuters

It sounds like the Toronto Raptors are finally ready to give up on Andrea Bargnani. The first pick of the 2006 draft has displayed tantalizing potential and has put together short bursts of production throughout his seven seasons in Toronto, but his deficiencies as a defender and a rebounder have become increasingly more difficult to overlook.

You can see why Toronto has stuck with Bargnani, even as he became the scapegoat for many of Toronto’s  recent failings. There are very few 7-footers in the world that possess the shooting stroke Bargnani has, and even though he made virtually no strides in other areas of the game, he did make marginal improvements as a scorer almost every season.

But that’s the problem with a one-dimensional talent like Bargnani. If that one thing abandons you, what are you left with? Bargnani’s connecting on just 39.8 percent of his shots this year — a dreadful number no matter how tall or small you are. Perhaps predictably, Toronto has become noticeably better defensively while Bargnani has sat out with an elbow injury, putting together a 6-2 record without him in the lineup.

Add everything up and Marc Stein’s report makes an awful lot of sense:

“One source close to the situation said Friday that Bargnani remains “a lock to be moved.” That naturally depends on finding a taker for the underachieving Italian forward, but (Kyle) Lowry’s contract shouldn’t be too hard to attach to a trade, valued at $5.8 million this season and with only $1 million guaranteed of the $6.2 million he’s owed next season.”

Marc Stein |

Bargnani has two years and $23 millions dollars left on his contract after this season. That’s a tough pill to swallow for any team, especially for a guy not playing at all right now, but getting Kyle Lowry or Jose Calderon as a reward for taking on Bargnani’s contract might be enticing enough for some team out there.

Toronto, meanwhile, is in a weird spot. A glance at their roster would lead you to believe they’re primed for a rebuilding period if they could shed Bargnani’s contract, but Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo recently decided to pay the uninspiring wing combination of DeMar DeRozan and Landry Fields a combined $15 million dollars a year going forward. Add in that the Raptors likely won’t have their 2013 first round pick (the pick is top-3 protected) because of the Lowry deal with Houston, and it would seem that Colangelo clearly has no interest in rebuilding.

That’s what makes the Bargnani decision even more critical. The Raptors need a real player in any deal for Bargnani in order to contend, but they probably don’t want to lose Lowry for their future, or Calderon for their present. Selecting Bargnani number one overall instead of LaMarcus Aldridge set the franchise back, but forfeiting a valuable asset just to get rid of him would only seem to compound the mistake.

Toronto needs to look in the mirror more than anything else. Are they contending or rebuilding? Are they skewing young or rolling with veterans? Are they planning on improving in free agency or through the draft? Bargnani isn’t the star you can dream on, but trading him may provide Toronto the direction they so desperately need.

  1. inhokewetrust - Dec 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Winning or Losing who cares…do u know how much money MLSE makes….
    Signed your pal DICK PETTY and the BILLIONARES at MLSE

  2. dalucks - Dec 29, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    So they are finally admitting that they took the foreign version of Brad Lohaus with the 1st pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. This should be enough to get the general manager fired. Then again, Mitch Kupchak and Billy King still have their jobs.

  3. waqoyi - Dec 29, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    only Options for the Raptors are JaVale McGee? or Bynum as it stands…

    Bryan Colangelo is a joke

  4. nygdriveforfive - Dec 29, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    the answerAldridge is the only better player out of that draft. Drafting Barny is not a valid reason to suggest Colangelo should be fired. Let me know if you can find a 4/5 guy who gives you what Barny does offensively at 10mil a year. Jv/barny/derozan/davis/ross is a nice core to build around. Does it feel like the raps are always rebuilding?? YES. j oneal/turk other moves have not worked out I agree. CB4 leaving the way he did also set this franchise back, as did the Vc trade before BC got to Toronto. Bc’s drafting has been top notch especially when you look at the Raps drafting history as a franchise. Firing BC is not the answer

    • theawesomersfranchise - Dec 29, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo find this comment insulting.
      And yes, Colangelo should be fired.
      He passed on Jennings and Holliday for one trick pony DeRozan, that’s not top notch.
      His latest blunder is trading a Raptors lottery pick for Lowry, which the Thunder now own.

    • bougin89 - Dec 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      I actually agree with you. Now they won’t admit it but at the time most teams would have drafted Bargnani. Most lottery picks are drafted based on a potential. BC did totally F up on Fields and DeRozan tho. Thats the life for GMs in non big cities though. As a Buck fan I give you Gooden & Salmons as our latest F ups.

  5. hybes1 - Dec 29, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    BC is so overrated as a GM. Instead of building a basketball team, he’s tried to sell the city on building a soccer squad in Toronto. Dude, Toronto fans know basketball. Plus that contract to Fields & Derozan, terrible moves plus trading your 1st rounder for Lowry who has a 2year deal. Get him out of here MLSE

  6. skinsfanwill - Dec 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Colangelo is a top 10 worst GM of all time. Why is he still employed? He can no longer include putting together Team USA on his resume for GM duties. That’s too easy. He single handedly ruined that franchise thinking an all European team could compete in this NBA. GTFOH!!!!!!!! He’s made bad decision after bad decision. He is an idiot and can’t build a contender if you gave him Team USA in Toronto. He’d trade them all for players like Valenciunas……LOL

  7. ruffridin - Dec 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    DeRozan is the real deal, watch the games. Bargs has got to go, send Jose with him and build around Lowry, DeRozan, Ross, and Val. They’ve won 7 of 8 now so keeps Bargs away

    • jjmb4 - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      Agreed on DeRozan. He continues to improve, and is top 20 in scoring. Rebounds are up and defense it much better. Bargniani going makes sense, but keeping Calderon over Lowry would be a huge mistake. While I can appreciate that Calderon is a solid 1/2 court point guard, he can’t defend his way out of a paper bag. It is painful to watch him get blown by play after play. Lowry brings scoring, strong pg play, gritty defense and swagger that they sorely need.

  8. nygdriveforfive - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Two words for you guys, Rob Babcock. Do you guys remember arujo? Jv is a beast in the making and drafting demar is far from a mistake. This team is headed in the right direction.

  9. brotherlove2012 - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Toronto has some talents on their roster, but this team has no identity whatsoever. They’re bland, boring and don’t know what to do at the end of games. What they need is a true superstar to get them over the hump, and the only way for them to get one is through the draft. They miss their chance with both Bosh and Bargnani, two soft players. This organization is a mess, I guess we needed an innate organization to replace the Clippers now that they have become a quality team.

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