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Carmelo Anthony says trade for Andrea Bargnani was a steal for the Knicks

Aug 4, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Toronto Raptors center Andrea Bargnani reacts to a call during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah Reuters

When the Knicks went out and traded for Andrea Bargnani, it was a head-scratcher for plenty of New York fans.

Bargnani has a reputation of being a frail bust during his time in Toronto, a former number one overall draft pick who clung to the figurative neck of the Raptors franchise like an albatross for the past seven seasons.

But at least one prominent member of the Knicks has a level of excitement about the deal, and believes that the trade for Bargnani will be a positive one for the New York franchise.

From Marcus Henry of Newsday:

Anthony lamented losing key teammates from last season’s 54-28 squad, but said getting Bargnani was a “steal” and is convinced the Knicks will be better.

“I hate to lose [Steve] Novak and [Marcus] Camby, but when you get someone like [Bargnani] in return, it’s kind of a win-win situation.”

The 7-foot forward, a No. 1 overall pick of the Toronto Raptors in 2006, averaged 12.7 points and 3.7 rebounds last season. It was his lowest point total since he averaged 10.2 points per game in 2007-08.

“Hopefully, Bargnani will want to come in and prove something, come in with a chip on his shoulder and be ready to rock,” Anthony said.

Knicks head coach Mike Woodson similarly sang Bargnani’s praises at Summer League in Las Vegas.

“I’ve got to get him up to speed defensively, but just like Melo’s a nightmare for people at the four, [Bargnani is] a nightmare for players at the four and five,” Woodson said. “I’ve just got to get him in and get him acclimated to what we’re doing, and get him comfortable — that’s the key with him. I’ve got to get him back to feeling good about himself. I think he’s an excellent ballplayer.”

Bargnani’s shooting percentages are lower than they should be for a player that’s supposedly a specialty shooter, and his defense has been historically below average. Perhaps a change of scenery will benefit that player who was once believed to be talented enough to deserve to be taken number one overall in the 2006 NBA draft, but despite Anthony’s support, he’ll need to prove himself fairly quickly to shake his reputation under the New York media spotlight.

  1. saint1997 - Aug 4, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    I think Woody will find a great role for him stretching the floor and allowing people the room they need to operate (possibly allowing STAT and Melo to co-exist). He’s only a bad player when you look at his expectations – if you look objectively he’s a sweet shooting big who if healthy can make a difference.

    • JMClarkent - Aug 4, 2013 at 8:59 AM

      My issues with him are his contract, defense and rebounding; Toronto drafted a very limited role player #1 overall. That being said, I agree with you – the key to working with Melo is spacing, in that regard he is a more effective version of Steve Novak.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        JM….. Novak and Bargnani are both Horrendous rebounders, and play almost no defense. Bargnani, however, is much more expensive, and a miserable shooter compared to Novak. I’m not sure what you mean.

      • beagle11 - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        While Bargnani is more expensive, he is on a shorter deal than Novak and Camby. He may not be the shooter that Novak is but he can create his own shot in the post and has a far more diverse offensive arsenal. At the end of the day its a long shot, but maybe Woody can squeeze something out of him that no one in Toronto could.

      • JMClarkent - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        AJ – Novak is a better shooter, though when healthy I think that Bargs is a better offensive player overall/ can do damage in more different ways than Steve.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      what if you expect him to be an average player? Oh, wait. By those standards he’s still terrible.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 5, 2013 at 12:42 AM

        Bargnani hasn’t lived up to his being drafted #1, not even close.

        But to say he’s not an average player is false. He is the epitome of average.

        His career pts per 36 min’s of court time is 18.0 pts. Tony Parker’s career pts per 36 min.’s of court time is 18.7 pts and Chris Paul’s is 18.3 pts. Actually, his 18 pts per 36 min’s of court time is decidedly above average.

        However, his 2 pt FG% isn’t very good at all. It’s below league average for his career.

        On the other hand, his 3 pt shooting percentage is pretty good, above average. His career 3 pt shooting percentage is higher than Chris Paul’s, Deron Williams, Paul George, Kevin Love, Jamal Crawford, Jason Kidd & Brandon Roy

        His career free throw % is .825, well above league average (he had one season at 77% and his other six seasons have all been at 82% or higher).

        You are correct that he does’t rebound well at all, he is below average here.

        So, he is below average in many things and above average in others.

        All in all, he is decidedly and average player.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:43 AM

        hmmm….PPG as an argument is pretty silly. Most guys can get that just by shooting a lot, which doesn’t necessarily help your team. It’s pretty obvious that Bargnani can’t shoot at all. He’s terrible from 2 point land, and in the last 3 years he’s shot around 30% from 3. (One could argue that his career 3pt % is the number to look at, and claim he’s a good shooter, but the counterargument is that shot selection is a part of shooting ability. Taking dumb shots is bad, and Bargnani not only takes a bunch of shots he’s no good at, he also seems to be regressing).

        His FT percentage is quite good, especially for his size. However, he does get there slightly more often than the average center, which helps his TS% (except for this past year, where he was AWFUL). This mild advantage does nothing to outweigh the fact that he rebounds like a SG and he’s 7 feet tall. He has below average assist numbers and above average turnover numbers. He doesn’t get anywhere close to average numbers in blocks or steals, though the one advantage to his turnstile defense is that he doesn’t foul as often as the average PF/C.

        Let’s assume you’re correct in saying he does some things below average and about the same number of things above average. This would make him an average player, except he does the poor things so much more often than the good things. The man is a walking wasted possession on offense, and a traffic cone on the other end. The Knicks would be better off just hoping he gets hurt.

  2. knicksmets - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Would have been more of a steal if they didn’t give up picks for him, it’s not like he was too effective with Toronto

  3. btrue2life - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    He will fit us nicely

  4. kev86 - Aug 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Knicks are going to win it all next year.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Put your money where your mouth is.

    • buonocj - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      Ha…n…but thanks for the laugh. Ny still cant get past Miami, indy, or chi if rose is healthy and maybe not even if he aint playing. heck even the nets could be better than the knicks if they all can gel a little bit.

  5. jamieaadams - Aug 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Oh, it’ll certainly be a nightmare…

  6. hartdaddy - Aug 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    The NBA is based off potential & the Knicks got the better player by far in that trade in terms of potential. The younger more talented player went NYs way & Toronto received Camby who they cut & Novak who is a poor mans kyle korver who’s pushing past 30. Sure, Tornto got a couple twos & a one in 2016 but back to potential. Twos very rarely pan out, especially the later picks & the 2016 first will more than likely be swapped with Denver since (back to potential again) many would agree that Denver has a brighter future than NY so they’ll be picking in the 20s. Now can you draft a stud in the late 20s, yes, but only if your GM knows how to draft. Can you use 2nds & 1st as assets, yes but 2nd rounders get you very little in trades (i.e. Andrea Bargnani) & potential late 1st round picks have to battle against other higher more valuable first rounders when those desirable players hit the market. This means in order to gain a “star” player with these picks then Toronto will have to part with a Derozen or a Rudy Gay if not both & the 1st. A late first can nab you a guy like Luis Scola but trading for a Luis Scola only makes sense for a team like Indy because they’re contending for a title & are looking for pieces not stars or major game changers.

  7. thebigtebowski - Aug 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Bargnani is a much better offensive player than Novak. Are you guys nuts? Novak can not create his own shot… all. You’re comparing bargnani who averaged 17.2 ppg, 21.4 ppg, 19.5 ppg over 3 consecutive seasons from the 09-10 season to the 11-12 season. Novak is a terrible rebounder compared to bargnani which just shows how awful the 6’10” spot shooter is. Novak brings nothing to the table in every facet if the game other than making wide open spot up 3 pointers. Bargnani can drive, take off dribble jumpers, hit the step back. This trade was great for the Knicks. If bargnani comes in and plays 25-30 mins a game and averages 12-14 ppg that’s a huge upgrade over what the Knicks had.

    • eboneseagles - Aug 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Bravo, exactly what I was about to type. Dudes up above saying Novak is a better offensive player is laughable, he’s a one trick pony who’s severely limited at everything else.

      • buonocj - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        I’m guessing you two aren’t to good at comprehending what you read. Everyone is saying that bargnani is the better offensive player. Just that novak is the better shooter. Based on %’s that is pretty much true.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      all those shots that Bargnani “creates” (shot creation is a myth by the way) don’t go in. He’s an awful offensive player. That’s the worst kind. The one who cannot shoot, yet thinks that they can and takes a lot of shots.

  8. metalhead65 - Aug 4, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    what did he have to work with in Toronto? he was expected to do everything do and his weaknesses were exposed. with the knicks he will not be expected to do it all and be able to play his game however limited it might be.

  9. jbeagles23 - Aug 4, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    No one in New York has ever watched Andrea play. To get those points he needed 30 shots. Just like Carmelo. Andrea is terrible

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      The only excuse you have for your comment is you could be a beagle and live in a doghouse without cable. I’ll bet at least 22 people have seen the guy play.

  10. aldavis4president - Aug 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Novak better the bargnani?!!???thats how I know people just read this website watch ESPN and dont watch one freakin game. Novak can’t do anything but stand and shoot. There’s a reason he didn’t smell the court in the playoffs. Only reason hes a “bust” is because he was taken
    #1 overall. But looking at how raw and not offensively gifted bigs are, how can you pass up on a 7’0 canter who shoot and Alrdy had an offensive game? Novak?!?!??! #CHILDPLEASE!

  11. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Aug 4, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I’m honestly not sure if I should be laughing at all the Knicks fans who think he’s going to be good or if I should pity them. It really is a tough call. You have no idea what you got yourselves into.

  12. dgilet1 - Aug 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Novak is not even close to bargnani. I don’t even think Novak made one layup all season. If he has to take one dribble he is no longer effective. It’s such an obvious point that bargnani is way better than Novak I don’t even know how to argue it. It’s not because bargnani is great. Just that he can do exactly what Novak did plus way more in terms of creating

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      Novak shoots a little better than 30% from 3. I’m not sure you realize how valuable 3 point shots are. The mental hoops people jump through to assure themselves that Bargnani is good are amazing. They guy can’t shoot, can’t rebound, can’t pass, can’t block shots, can’t get steals, and turns it over a lot. The only thing this guy does remotely good is not commit fouls. Yet pipe dreams like “shot creation” and “potential” and “versatile” consistently permeate the rhetoric around this guy. It’s simply ridiculous. You’re either good or not good, and by all the ways we measure other basketball players, Bargnani falls short.

      • bougin89 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        So are you saying we shouldn’t consider a players ability to dribble a basketball or play with his back to the basket when comparing two(or more) players?

        I don’t think anyone is saying Bargnani is some sort of savior or elite player but he definitely brings more to the table than Steve Novak.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:07 AM

        Yeah, i’m saying exactly that bougin. Who the hell cares if you can dribble or stand with your back to the basket if you can’t put the ball in the hoop? It’s like saying you rank jumpshots on how “pretty” they are. So what if Bargnani is amazing at all kinds of things? He’s still bad at shooting, rebounding, turnovers, steals, blocks, assists, etc. These are things that are proven to translate to wins/losses. They have a direct and measurable effect. There is no correlation between being able to do a spin move or having a nasty crossover and wins/losses.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:23 AM


        I’d say Novak shoots a little better than 30% from 3 pt range. He led the league in the 2011/12 season in 3 pt shooting at .472%.

        His career 3 pt shooting percentage is .433%

        Now, basically all he does is spot up and shoot, but shoot the 3 well does he ever.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        duh sportsfan i was being sarcastic.

  13. weaselpuppy - Aug 4, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Rick Sund has been spotted disposing of a very convincing Carmelo Anthony bodysuit….

  14. emosnar - Aug 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    If they would have got Oden, they would’ve be a a top 5 team in the West this year. But I bet money Gordon doesn’t stay in N.O. I think he opts out after this year. Too many guards around him making him uncomfortable. One more injury and the brass will lose hope in him. This is TRULY the only year Gordon has to resurrect his image.

    I live in Alaska.

    • buonocj - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      What does this have to do with the knicks or the bargnani trade?

  15. dysraw1 - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    if healthy we should be pretty good we got two complete units, i also think that like last year we should be pretty high scoring, with better D. remains to be seen

  16. jbeagles23 - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    I live 45 minutes from Toronto. Have watched almost every raptors game since 96 and he is awful. Knicks fans have nothing to be excited about. He’s lazy. He’s slow. He has a smooth jumper if he’s wide open. 7 feet and night have dunked 5 times in his whole career.

  17. jbeagles23 - Aug 4, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Knick fans always think they got the better of a trade. Is say bargnani and Novak will both be of the same importance to their respective new teams. Both are role players. However bargnani makes a lot more and the raptors got three picks.

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