Andrea Bargnani Needs To Go

Former first overall pick Andrea Bargnani has not lived up to expectations

When Chris Bosh decided to leave for Miami, the Toronto Raptors gave their key to the franchise to Andrea Bargnani. They should have shown him the door.

I wouldn’t have said that at the start of the season but as the year has gone on it apparent the Raptors need to go in a different direction. Bryan Colangelo needs to be a man, swallow his pride and cut his losses now.

As the go to guy in the Raptors offence, Andrea Bargnani has established himself as one of the premier scoring big men in the NBA. This past season he averaged 21.4 points a game. A fairly respectable figure.

Too bad that’s all he does. Sadly, referring to his offensive numbers as respectable discounts his decline in field goal percentage and increased turnover rate from the 2009-10 season.

What is worse is Andrea Bargnani’s insistence on slacking at the defensive end, which is simply inexcusable. It isn’t a coincidence that in the two years that Bargnani has been given a more prominent role in the organization, the Raptors have sported the league’s worst defensive efficiency.

I would say that Bargnani’s defence mirrors that of a stereotypically soft European but to say that would be an insult to soft Europeans.

Andrea Bargnani doesn’t possess the drive that the Kobe Bryant’s and Kevin Garnett’s of the NBA have. He doesn’t care that he provides no inside presence for his team. He doesn’t care that it is his job to carry a mostly hapless roster. He doesn’t care about his reputation as a marshmallow. He doesn’t even care about his statistics.

Surprisingly, Bargnani’s rebounding and block totals are down from 2009-10. He averaged a pathetic 5.4 rebounds a game for a 7 foot center playing over 35 minutes a game, which is down from his 2009-10 average of 6.2 rebounds a game. Could it be more alarming that his block average has been cut in half this year? Last season he averaged 1.4 blocks a game and hopefully you can do the math, but if you can’t, he averaged 0.7 a game this year.

As the supposed franchise player, his attitude shows no signs of the responsibility he should feel for his lack of hustle and dismal statistics. When asked about his poor defence he said that, in reference to his offence “I do things that are much more complicated than getting rebounds and playing defence. That should be the easy part.”

In an attempt to be hard himself either he’s incredibly naive, doesn’t understand what it takes or flat out isn’t concerned and doesn’t want to be bothered to correct his obvious laziness and ineptitude.

I’m thinking it’s the latter.

Bargnani also said that the team needs to get more guys that can help play defence.

Wow.

It may be true that management has done an inadequate job of surrounding the team with quality two-way players, but Bargnani’s outlook cannot be tolerated.

The way he plays speaks volumes about his attitude. Well, if his play speaks volumes then I must be deaf because his comments just hit 200 decibels.

The problem is that Bargnani still has 4 years averaged out at $10 million a year left on his contract. Is the possibility of unloading his contract about as small as the impact Bargnani has made on the franchise or is someone willing to take a chance?

Does any team want to take on a player with not only Bargnani’s defensive deficiencies but also his mental deficiencies? Obviously, playing on a losing team has dampened the big Italian’s spirit more than the thought of being the face of the franchise has motivated him.

I’ll slip a little bit of my distaste in for Jay Triano here because I am amazed that he has let Bargnani get away with this for so long. Granted, Triano was the one who saved Bargnani’s career after Sam Mitchell sucked almost every ounce of confidence from Bargnani. Nevertheless, not once this year has Triano sat or even threatened to sit Bargnani for his consistent laziness.

What I’m trying to get at here is that there might be a possibility that a better coach and/or team could inspire Bargnani to put some real effort into his game, which could be a selling point in trade talks with other teams. But that’s a big if.

It is wrong to solely blame Bargnani for the Raptor’s woes considering their line-up features some equally incompetent defensive players, namely Jose Calderon. However, a new wave of talent has come to Toronto with Demar Derozan and Ed Davis proving that they have some serious game. They may not be franchise players but they are good pieces to build around.

Like the other overrated Toronto GM, Bryan Colangelo insists on trying to build a winning team without truly rebuilding. He already traded the Raptors late first round pick that was acquired from the Miami Heat in exchange for another slashing wing player in James Johnson.

If Colangelo did in fact have an offer on the table for Bargnani, would he take it? Bargnani is the first guy that Colangelo drafted as Raptors GM.

Is his ego too big for him to admit he has made a mistake? He was able to get rid of Hedo Turkoglu who he personally signed to a brutal 5 year $53 million contract.

The Raptors will most likely have a very high draft pick as they finished with the 3rd worst record in the NBA. A change in direction to a grittier, defensive oriented team may be exactly the thing this franchise needs as it is evident that Colangelo’s European invasion has not flourished.

The departure of Chris Bosh has once again left the Toronto Raptors searching for an identity. Giving this Italian the boot would be a good place to start.


Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I am now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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12 Responses to Andrea Bargnani Needs To Go

  1. OK, solid point here. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s got to go, but I think they should wait him out and trade him. You said that no team would want him, but I’m thinking the opposite. Lots of teams would want a big man who could score, especially at a cheap price. The Raptors should trade Bargnani, which gets rid of him AND adds new talent.

  2. kris says:

    I totally agree. Bargs is a great guy.. but for taking over as the franchise leader? and go to guy? not so much. and so does triano. Id keep triano for assistant coach but im not sure he’d want to take it after being head coach. But thats what the Raptors have become. A bunch of 2nd stringers!! Triano is a great assistant coach but not a great head coach. Jose our starter would be a great back up to any team…but not as a starter. I like Demar, Ed and Bayless and thats who we should build around.

  3. tophatal says:

    Chris Ross

    What gave you the impression that even with Bargnani the Raptors would be going anywhere to begin with ? It’s not as if they’ve been relevant in the NBA at all. They weren’t when Zeke was there in an executive position and they never will be !

    The Raptors are a badly ran organization from top to bottom and this being the same group who also owns the Jays , Toronto FC (MLS) and the Malple Leafs . Which in essence at this juncture tells you all you need to know !

    tophatal …………

    • hoopsguy says:

      MLSE does not own the Jays, Rogers does. The Raptors are also for sale and they were relevant in the early 200′s when Lenny Wilkins was the coach before Vince Carter and Rob Babcock killed the team.

  4. chappy81 says:

    The Warriors would trade for Bargnani! We’ll give you Biendris and his ridiculous $9M a year for him!

  5. Papa Bear says:

    I’m sure the New York Knicks are always open to trade for more offense. Unfortunately you will not be getting anything other than offense in return.

  6. Blasterfi9 says:

    yah i think u got the idea wrong on his contract, its pretty afordable for bargs, he’s gettin paid like he’s the 3rd option on offence, or the 6th off the bench, 10 mill (he got 8 mill this year) is quite acceptable, atleast in the current NBA cap…

    I am sure a team like the bucks, bobcats, 76ers,or even the magic would like he services, the problem with the raptors is, with or without him they r juss plain bad at D. Jose is a pylon, demar can guard his own shadow, JJ and Bayless foul way too damn much its not even funny. Beside PF, other positions have no adequate defenders cept sonny ( on a good day) and julian wright (who cant seem to leave the bench), it juss makes bargs look even horrid. He’s a competent on the ball defendor… his help defence however is historically atrocious, and as a center surrounded by a bunch of bad defendors, thats juss horrid….

    Soooooooo yah, 5.2 rebounds is still baaaad, wtf bargs….

  7. armaan192 says:

    I think you have some good points, he did play decent this year but has a lot of flaws. He is their leading scorer and we could use a big man up front, so maybe go to Kanter in the Draft and gain some inside height and big body who can command some defence and rebounds? I think that Bargnani doesn’t have good leadership, I think that may be because he came from Italy and English is not his first language. Either way he has no real leadership or real passion for the game. Guys like Evans, Johnson they have a passion for the city and the game which make a difference and we need players like that. Bargnani would be a great role player but we took him at #1 and BC needs to make up his mind soon before things could get worse and we end up getting nothing for him like Chris Bosh.

  8. tophatal says:

    MLSE still has an (small) equity stake in the organization albeit a small one . So in essence they’re still an owner of sorts .

    tophatal …..

  9. Christian says:

    Great post, I completely agree with you that Bargnani needs to go. The Raptors need to trade him for complete players. Since they will have a high draft pick this year they should trade a point guard to replace Calderon or a center to replace Bargnani. The Raptors need to change their soft image and their style of play and play defense. Maybe there should be a coaching change or a new GM to get the Raptors back on track.

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