On paper, Andrea Bargnani has the makeup of a franchise player. He’s seven-feet tall, only 25 years old and averaged over 21 points per game this past season. But despite all that, the Raptors only won 22 games, with Bargnani missing eight of the final 10 due to a nagging ankle injury. So what is Toronto to do? Should they trade their No. 1 in order to improve? If AB had his druthers, he might be on his way out of town.
Asked in a feature interview where he’d like to play if he could rub a magic lamp and transport himself to another NBA city, Bargnani told Italy’s Sky Sports: “I want to stay in Toronto, at least this is the politically correct answer. If (I am) to go somewhere else, I’d like a warm climate city and a team where I can actually play in my role.”
His role? Does he want to shoot less? This season, Bargnani averaged 17.8 field-goal attempts a game, second-most among NBA players who haven’t made an All-Star team. Sure he was playing out of position most of the time at center, but that’s something for the Raptors to address – not necessarily time to give up. But if the Genie is going to grant him his wish for greener (and warmer) pastures, there’s already one idea surfacing: attempt to trade for Rudy Gay.
Perhaps the price may end up involving Bargnani, Toronto’s own trade exception obtained in the Chris Bosh sign-and-trade with the Heat, the No. 5 draft pick or any combination of assets for Gay.
What must be made clear is that if Gay is indeed available, then expect the Raptors to be involved.
If I’m the Grizzlies, I’d turn down this deal just like they did with the Cavs. But if they could perhaps get a third team involved that would be a better fit for Bargnani, they could be on to something.
What should the Raptors do with Bargnani: keep him or trade him?
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