As you should all be aware by now, the Raptors have made Andrea Bargnani available for the right price and recent comments from Bargnani himself may or may not demonstrate that he wants out of Toronto.
That being said, I have no problem with the Raptors’ plans to trade Bargnani. I just think they picked a bad time to announce that he is available.
In my opinion, the ideal time for the Raptors to announce Bargnani's availability would have been a couple months before next season’s trade deadline and here is why:
1. His value would be much higher come February
Come trade deadline time there are two major classifications for teams.
First, you have the contenders looking to acquire that missing piece in order to improve their chances of winning an NBA championship.
Secondly, on the other end of the spectrum you have the bottom-dwelling teams looking to get rid of big contracts or big-name players in order to either acquire young talent, cap room or to basically blow up their current roster and start over again.
Now that we have that all cleared up I think the first of these two types of teams would benefit greatly from acquiring the services of Andrea Bargnani.
Bargs is a very gifted scorer and would be an excellent sixth man off the bench for any contending team. Therefore, Bargnani’s market value would increase as a result of more team’s looking to acquire a player like Bargs.
2. The Raptors have not tried everything
First of all, don’t get this point confused with the “be patient…He could still improve his defense and rebounding…He is a former first overall pick…blah blah blah” argument because if you ask me that is complete nonsense.
Andrea Bargnani does not play like a big man; he plays like a shooting guard in a 7-footer’s body. Despite his size he is not and never should be considered as a starting calibre NBA center. Rather, he is a PF/SF who is a poor defender and rebounder but who can score with relative ease.
The sooner the Raptors treat him as such the sooner they can benefit from his style of play.
I strongly doubt Bargnani will ever dramatically improve his defense and rebounding; however, if he was playing against smaller power forwards and small forwards you would most likely see an increase in his numbers simply as a result of his size advantage.
As I touched on in the first point Andrea Bargnani has the potential to become a potent sixth man, with the ability to score with relative ease and play small forward, power forward and yes a bit of center off the bench.
If the Raptors ever want to become true title contenders, they will eventually need a player like the one Andrea Bargnani could potentially become…so why would you trade him away before you actually gave him a legitimate chance to play his natural style of basketball in his ideal role?