NBA Trade Scenarios: 6 Teams That Could Use Andrea Bargnani
As one of the lone bright spots during an otherwise unimpressive season for the Toronto Raptors, Andrea Bargnani took over for Chris Bosh as one of the main stars on the only team in the NBA from Canada.
The 25-year-old center from Italy averaged 21.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 35.7 minutes per game in 2010 as the Raptors finished their season second-to-last in the Eastern Conference in front of only the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 22-60 record.
Bargnani was recently quoted as saying he would like to go to a warm climate city where he can "actually play his role" if he were to leave Toronto.
He quickly made a statement following those comments saying he loved Toronto and did not want Raptors fans to take what he said out of context.
However, teams around the league would welcome a young center like Bargnani because of his offensive skill set. The only problem with Bargnani's game is his rebounding and defense, both skills that he can work on.
The NBA's worst team this season, the Timberwolves could use all the help they can get.
With an assortment of guards at their disposal and an all-star in Kevin Love as a building block, the Timberwolves could use Bargnani in their offensive system.
Their current situation has them with center Darko Milicic in their rotation, a high draft pick from the Pistons who never produced the numbers he was expected to produce.
With Bargnani, Minnesota would acquire a proven offensive center to help their team grow for the future.
Like the Timberwolves, the Cleveland Cavaliers could use any help that they can find.
The owners of the No. 1 and No. 4 pick in this year's NBA Draft, the Cavs finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference and are hoping to find two pieces for their young team with their two top-five picks.
If the Cavs select Derrick Williams out of Arizona and he is more suited to the power forward position, the team will be able to unload J.J. Hickson in a trade in order to acquire more skilled players to complement their young guns.
Bargnani could play alongside Williams in the offense, however, if the Cavs select Duke guard Kyrie Irving, a trade for Bargnani may not be in the cards.
Memphis ended this season with a disappointing loss in the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Grizzlies are a young and upcoming team with a strong core of players to build around. Although Bargnani likely would not start on a team such as Memphis because of Marc Gasol, his offense off the bench would be crucial to success in the postseason.
The Grizzlies backup center is Hamed Haddadi, a second-year player out of Iran who averaged just 1.2 points per game.
Bargnani could back up Gasol in the rotation and add an offensive spark off the bench for the Grizzlies, however, the Raptors might ask for too much in return.
New York Knicks
Although Andrea Bargnani's defense is suspect, the New York Knicks and coach Mike D'Antoni shouldn't be concerned when looking to trade for someone to anchor the middle of their offense.
D'Antoni runs his team based on offense and tries to outscore his opponents rather than try to play lock down defense.
A center such as Bargnani would fit perfectly in the Knicks system and would give Amar'e Stoudemire the opportunity to play his natural position of power forward.
Any offensive-based system in the NBA would be lucky to have a player as skilled as Bargnani in the middle of their offense.
The Celtics have now lost two centers in one season.
They traded Kendrick Perkins at this year's trade deadline and lost all-time great Shaquille O'Neal to retirement earlier this week, leaving Jermaine O'Neal and Nenad Kristic as the only two centers on their roster.
With Jermaine O'Neal's age, it is hard to see Boston keeping him on their roster, especially when the team is looking to become younger.
Bargnani may be able to infuse some youth into a team that looked old and exhausted in this year's playoffs against the Miami Heat.
The Miami Heat may not need a player like Andrea Bargnani as they are already in this year's NBA Finals, however, their situation at center is shaky at best.
Their starting center is Joel Anthony and his backups are veterans Erick Dampier and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, with power forwards Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem sometimes filling in at the five spot.
Bargnani would bring more offense than Anthony, and although defense would be lacking, the Big Three's talent alone could make up for Bargnani's inefficiencies on the defensive end.
With an NBA Finals win, the acquisition of Bargnani would only strengthen one of the best rosters in the league.