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Old 01-11-2012, 04:54 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Is Andrea Bargnani finally living up to his billing as the No. 1 pick?

James Ham, Cowbell Kingdom: If the 2006 NBA draft were done all over again, LaMarcus Aldridge would be the clear overall first pick. Bargnani can score, but that's about it. He is a 7-footer who rebounds like a small forward, plays suspect defense and wills his team to be a sub-.500 club; not exactly first overall pick material.

Mark Haubner, The Painted Area: In the context of the 2006 draft, yes. Bargnani now stands with LaMarcus Aldridge and Rajon Rondo as the three All-Star-caliber players in that class. Most stunning is that the Raptors have allowed fewer points per possession with Bargs on the floor than off. Andrea has been one of the league's absolute worst by that metric for three straight seasons.

Chris Palmer, ESPN The Magazine: AB is playing really well, pumping in a career-best 23.7 ppg. I'd say if he makes a couple more strides on the defensive end, he lives up to the No. 1 pick, as far as the stat sheet goes. But No. 1 overall picks are supposed to turn a franchise around completely, and he hasn't done that.

Michael Pina, Red94: Bargnani is playing fantastic basketball right now, but he's no franchise pillar. A building block, yes, but No. 1 overall picks are supposed to serve as the foundation for teamwide renovation projects. Unless Toronto is able to pair him with one (or two?) certified stars, Bargnani and his lack of overall ability will prevent Toronto from venturing toward anything meaningful.

Timothy Varner, 48 Minutes Of Hell: Give Bargnani credit for a strong start, but he still doesn't look like a player around whom the Raptors can build their franchise. Until Bargs shows more than a little scoring ability, I continue to see him as a quality backup on a good team.
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