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Toronto Raptors: 5 Deals That Could Send Bargnani out of Hogtown

Brad LeClairCorrespondent IJune 25, 2011

Toronto Raptors: 5 Deals That Could Send Bargnani out of Hogtown

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    The Toronto Raptors and Bryan Colangelo were gift wrapped a stud center at fifth overall last night in Jonas Valanciunas, widely regarded was a top player in this draft class.

    ESPN's Ric Bucher went as far as saying the Raptors pick of Valanciunas will go down as the biggest steal of the 2011 NBA draft. Pretty high praise for the Lithuanian.

    Personally, this move, coupled with the comments made by Dwane Casey that the team will push hard for a center in free agency, could spell the end of Andrea Bargnani in a Raptors jersey.

    By the looks of the situation, Valanciunas will not be a Raptor next season (if there is a season) due to buyout questions with his club team back in Europe. What that means is, if the Raptors do get that center via free agency (such as Marc Gasol, Nene, Tyson Chandler, or Samuel Dalembert), Bargnani will have one year to show whether he can hack it at power forward in the NBA.

    There are no questions regarding his offence, but it's his play away from the ball, his defence, rebounding and overall effort that are still the major question marks regarding the Italian's future with the Raptors organization.

    If things don't work out, here are five deals I feel the Raptors could make to improve their team.

Toronto Gives Bargnani His Wish: You Want Warm, How's Arizona for You?

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    Toronto trades: Andrea Bargnani

    Phoenix trades: first-round pick 2012 (lottery protected)

    This deal would not be completed until the 2011-12 season is over with, and Valanciunas officially arrives in Toronto.

    This deal obviously gives the Raptors another pick in the 2012 draft, a draft which is going to be a lot deeper than the 2011 draft was.

    This move doesn't give them results right away, but could help the Raptors move up in the 2012 draft if the right player is available such as Myck Kabongo, a Toronto native.

Toronto and Golden State Give Bargnani Another Opportunity to Coast Around

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    Toronto trades: Andrea Bargnani

    Golden State trades: Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh

    Toronto here helps themselves to a center who can rebound and defend, and a small forward who can rebound and also defend.

    The Warriors need some inside scoring and rarely play defence, so the more offence the better, it appears.

    They would certainly be a dangerous team offensively when you can spread the floor with four players who can shoot from anywhere, and having Lee underneath to gobble up the garbage with putbacks. The question remains though, will they ever defend?

Raptors Strike Lightning with the Thunder

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    Toronto trades: Andrea Bargnani

    Thunder trades: Nate Robinson, Thabo Sefolosha, first-round pick, TPE

    This move gives the Raptors some bench depth and also a player who head coach Dwane Casey is very familiar with in Sefolosha. Widely regarded as one of the better defending guards in the NBA, his presence either in the starting lineup or on the bench, instantly makes the Raptors a better perimeter-defending team.

    Bargnani gives the Thunder an outside and inside threat. His game is perfect and will fit in at PF next to Kendrick Perkins like a glove. Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison off the bench give the Thunder quality depth, although Collison at $13 million a season is outrageous for the fourth big man in your rotation.

    Sefolosha is moved with the emergence of James Harden.

Raptors Talk Trade with Rob Babcock and the Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Toronto trades: Andrea Bargnani

    Minnesota trades: Michael Beasley

    With the drafting of Derrick Williams second overall, and the trading of Jonny Flynn and Donatas Motiejunas, the Timberwolves could use another big man. With Williams in the fold, and Beasley already there at SF and Love at PF, I think the club could look to move Beasley to fit Williams in.

    The Raptors could really use a small forward and Beasley might just be the ticket. He's a streaky shooter and has some questions regarding his off-court issues, but he's talented and a former second overall selection.

    The Wolves would boast a lineup of Rubio/Webster/Williams/Love/Bargnani—looks pretty sexy on paper.

    Hopefully, this deal doesn't leave people scratching their heads like Beasley.

Toronto and Atlanta Hook Up for a Blockbuster Trade

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    Toronto trades: Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, Linus Kleiza and a first-round pick lottery protected 2012

    Atlanta trades: Marvin Williams, Kirk Hinrich and Zaza Pachulia

    The Raptors here get that point guard, small forward and center all in one swoop with this deal. The Hawks do this because Bargnani helps spread the floor. Luckily for him, Josh Smith and Al Horford are great rebounders, so that allows him to play a more perimeter game in Atlanta.

    Jose Calderon is the real wild card here. He played very well down the stretch for the Raptors and appeared to finally be over his injury issues. He is one of the best distributors in the league and takes care of the ball.

    For the Raptors, this trade would mark the beginning of a completely new era, with Marvin Williams finally getting a starting job in the NBA. Kirk Hinrich gives the Raptors a defender at the point and Zaza Pachulia gives them some beef up front.

    Again, the Raptors are looking for a free agent center, so Pachulia, if the Raptors are able to sign their man, would come off the bench.

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