The Nets, who sit at 15-40 with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, released a statement regarding the move, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
Jeff Zillgitt @JeffZillgitt
Nets waive/complete buyout of Andrea Bargnani: https://t.co/hZMda7lbid2/20/2016, 9:54:04 PM
The Toronto Raptors selected Bargnani with the first pick in 2006. He appeared in 46 games for the Nets but did not start any of them. The 30-year-old big man has averaged 14.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in his 10-year career.
Bargnani signed a two-year deal with the Nets on July 13 after spending two seasons with the New York Knicks. The 7-foot Italian was traded to the Knicks in 2013 after spending the first seven years of his career in Toronto, where he averaged 15.2 points.
"The Nets and I agreed to part ways this afternoon," Bargnani tweeted Saturday. "Ready for the next challenge."
The Knicks gave up a major haul to get him, sending Quentin Richardson, Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, two second-round picks and this year's first-round pick to the Raptors for Bargnani—a player Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson once called a "poor man's" Dirk Nowitzki, per Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
Bargnani's time in the state of New York has not turned out to be pleasant, as Peter Botte of the New York Daily News pointed out:
Peter Botte @PeterBotte
Bargnani cost the Knicks first-round pick this year, then didn't make it through one season of two-year deal with Brooklyn. #NYStateOfMind2/20/2016, 10:27:11 PM
After averaging a career-high 21.4 points per game in the 2010-11 season, Bargnani has not been able to stay healthy. He played in only 137 of a possible 312 games over the next four years before signing a multiyear deal with the Nets this past summer for just under $3 million, per Spotrac.
Bargnani missed 42 games in 2013-14 due to a torn elbow ligament and has missed time with injuries to his calf and hamstring.
Waiving him is new general manager Sean Marks' first move since being named to the position Thursday. Bargnani missed nine games this year while playing in fewer than 14 minutes per contest.
|Andrea Bargnani: Since Being Traded from Toronto|
|Team||Season||Games Played/Started||Points Per Game|
|New York Knicks||2013-14||42/39||13.3|
|New York Knicks||2014-15||29/22||14.8|
Once he clears waivers, he has until March 1 to sign with a team before the league's playoff-eligibility deadline. Should a postseason team go after Bargnani, it would get a player who had a decent stretch of games in early December and had a 20-point performance Jan. 26 against the Miami Heat.
His best chance to contribute on a playoff team comes in the Eastern Conference, and the Boston Celtics could add more shooting once David Lee clears waivers. Other than Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, no regular Boston big man is shooting better than 30 percent from the perimeter.
If he can stay healthy the rest of the season, Bargnani could be an intriguing pickup on the waiver wire for a team in need of spacing.