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Old 12-20-2012, 04:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default www.si.com - more Bargs Trade rumors and speculations

2. The Raptors finally seem ready to deal former No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani, but what can they reasonably expect to get for him?

RM: At this point, trading Bargnani amounts to a salvage mission. His trade value is certainly low, but only because Toronto has passed up so many more opportune times to deal him. Bargnani upsets a lot of what the Raptors hope to be, and yet a four-year low in scoring (16 points per game), along with shooting marks (39.8 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from three-point range) that approach the worst of his career, make worthwhile deals hard to come by. (Heís also now out indefinitely with a torn right elbow ligament.)

Thatís why packaging Bargnani with pending free agent Jose Calderon does make some sense, even if doing so requires the Raptors to take back some heavy contracts. Calderon is a useful player for Toronto at this stage in its rebuild, but this could be GM Bryan Colangeloís last chance to get something for a player who will surely be gone after the season. Better to pull some value from Calderon and Bargnani both than none at all, particularly considering that the Raptors are unlikely to have much cap room until 2014 unless they make some fairly considerable cuts via trade. In that, I see no problem with Torontoís taking a chance on a potential Gasol deal, if such an offer comes to pass, or any well-compensated gamble provided that any contract it receives expires before 2014. What may end up happening is that the Raps foot the bill for another teamís mistake while also grabbing a prospect or pick for their trouble, though itís hard to pin down which players/teams might fill that hypothetical scenario.

BG: Iíve never been high on Bargnani, and his season has been a mess in every conceivable way. If the poor shooting, lackluster effort and more attempted three-pointers (4.5 per game) than rebounds (4.3) didnít dissuade potential suitors, Bargnani has been busy making the wrong kind of headlines off the court. He appeared indifferent at best to trade talk, reportedly got called out by teammates in a locker-room meeting and threatened legal action against an Italian journalist with whom he conducted an interview that he claims was reported improperly. Is anyone surprised that the Raptors have nearly as many wins (three) in the week theyíve played without Bargnani than they had in 21 games with him (four)? That was a rhetorical question. No one is surprised. The Raptors/Bargnani/Colangelo triumvirate has the feel of a situation thatís run its course.

The hang-up is that Bargnani might be the one big name who has submarined his trade value even more than Gasol this year. Unless he magically comes back from his injury a totally different player, trading him is addition by subtraction at worst for the Raptors given that heís owed $10.8 million in 2013-14 and $11.5 million in í14-15. Any assets they get in return (ideally picks and expiring contracts) would just be icing on the cake; the only requirement in moving him is taking back less guaranteed (or potentially guaranteed through a player option) money. Thereís probably a deal-seeker willing to buy low and hope that a change of scenery will produce better production and effort.
More rumors: Pau Gasol, Andrea Bargnani, J.J. Redick, others on the NBA trade block | The Point Forward - SI.com
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