So when the news came through the other day that the Raptors were had sealed things with Bargs for another 5 years, I have to admit, I was pretty happy with the signing. There seem to be a lot of people who aren’t so sure about it or are even flat out against it, but there are a few reasons I think it was a good move for the Raptors.
This might not be on many people’s lists of why they think it was a good signing, but I just like the mental makeup of Bargs. Here’s why: He had a great rookie season. He didn’t have a chance at winning the ROY, but it was a strong campaign and it provided the organization with a lot of hope. His second season was extremely disappointing. He was inconsistent, inefficient and at times looked completely lost at both ends of the court. It wasn’t a complete crash of a sophomore slump, but it certainly wasn’t anything to celebrate. But here’s the key. He got tough, worked on his game and even though he had a slow start to last season, he stuck with things and finished strong. We started seeing parts of his game that hadn’t really shown themselves at all before, such as his ability to play D.
Speaking of D, I think this is an area where we will see continued improvement from Bargs. Okay, one might say that with his lack of defensive ability, there is only room for improvement, but let’s keep in mind that he did lead the team in blocks per game last season and we didn’t see his head on a swivel as much as we did in his first two seasons. We also saw him standing up and taking charges when he needed to, something that we almost never saw him doing in his first two seasons.
Bargs showed that he will not always settle for his jumper. Last season, he showed great improvement on putting the ball on the floor and heading to the basket. True, sometimes he telegraphed things and ended up with some completely obvious charges, but at least he was making the effort to get people to respect different parts of his game. With more confidence, we will continue to see his game grow outside of his jump shot.
Having Hedo around is only going to help Bargs develop. Hedo has the ability to light things up from outside, but he does attack the basket and is surprisingly effective when he does. He isn’t really fast, but he manages to use his body well, getting himself in good position to put in some layups or at least get to the line. If Bargs can take a few notes, he should be able to learn from Hedo and use his superior athletic ability (yes, I do think Bargs is a better athlete than Hedo) to create a few more points for himself.
Anyway, I like the signing and am happy to see that Bargs is going to be hanging around for a while.