At some period in every relationship, there comes a time when you realize that things just aren’t working out anymore. Things aren’t what they used to be.
It’s perhaps best to just move on and part ways.
It’s probably for the best.
Since being selected first overall by the team back in 2006, Bargnani has put up career averages of 15.4 points on 44% shooting from the field and 36% from behind the arc, as well as 4.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks a game.
While those numbers aren’t the worst Raptors fans have ever seen, they must be a tad disappointing considering the fact he was taken with the first pick in a draft that featured top-10 picks LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay (both of whom have taken their respective teams to the NBA playoffs).
It’s not Andrea’s fault he was taken so high. When selecting a player first in any draft, you are basically declaring to the basketball world that this will be the man who turns around your franchise. He will be the face of your team and transform into a star that you can build around to form a championship contender over the next 4-5 years.
Has Bargnani been that guy for Toronto?
Are there signs that he could be that guy down the road?
Well, it hasn’t happened yet, so I doubt it ever will.
The problem with Andrea is that he is better suited to be a third or fourth option on a really good team, rather than be the focal point of a game plan that struggles as much as the Raptors does.
Through 14 games this season, Bargnani is averaging 17.6 points on 38.6% from the field. I’ve heard the excuse that perhaps it’s taking longer for him to regain his shooting touch after playing just 31 games in 2011/12.
The problem with that is Andrea isn’t a multifaceted type of player. If he can’t shoot effectively, then he really has little else to offer. He’s not a strong rebounder (career 4.9 boards a game for a 7′ footer is rather low), he’s weak as a defender in the paint and his intangibles as a leader/mouth piece for his team are non-existent.
In his most recent action against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, Bargnani shot a pitiful 2 for 19 and 0 for 7 from three-point range on route to just four points as the Raptors lost their fourth-straight game.
That’s not exactly the type of performance you want your franchise guy to put in when the team is in desperate need of a victory.
He had been playing somewhat well up until that point the previous week or so, but that’s what’s so frustrating about Andrea.
He’s way to inconsistent to be trusted.
I believe a little over seven seasons in the NBA is a fair amount of time to evaluate a talent. Bargnani isn’t a scrub or bust by any means, but he’s not the man to take Toronto to the promise land, that’s for damn sure.
There is certainly a market out there for him. He’s extremely mobile for a man of his size, and a 7′ foot center who can shoot the three has to be very enticing for a team looking to make a strong push for the playoffs, or even a championship run.
Whether Brian Colangelo or the Raptors organization wants to admit it or not, the Andrea Bargnani era in Toronto has been a failure. There is no denying the truth anymore.
It’s time to trade him.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports