With the February 21st NBA trade deadline fast approaching, the Toronto Raptors still find themselves in possession of their former number one overall pick in 2006, Andrea Bargnani.
Over the past several weeks, Bargnani has been linked to trades with the Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers and Charlotte Bobcats, yet GM Bryan Colangelo has yet to pull the trigger on a deal.
According to a report by Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, there is a still a great possibility that “Il Mago” could be sticking around with the team past the 3:00 pm deadline on Thursday.
Word from the executives I talked to over the weekend here and by electronic methods all suggested there’s not an awful lot of trade activity percolating right now, which we all know can change at the drop of a hat.
The big one, of course, is Bargnani, and one note I got this weekend simply said:
“Looks like the summer.”
Now, I know Bryan [Colangelo] pretty well, and I would say he’ll do something small this week. It’s like second nature to him to make a deadline-week deal just to be in the fray.
But, at this minute, there’s nothing serious going on for anyone, which is good since I have an hour of work and then a three-hour flight to deal with.
Despite the numerous trade rumors surrounding Andrea, keeping him on the roster and then finding a suitor for him this offseason may be the smart thing to do.
His value is at an all-time low at the moment. Bargnani, who has played in just 25 games this season due to injury, is averaging 14.8 points on 40.9% shooting from the field and 29% from behind-the-arc, as well as 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Those are his lowest numbers since his rookie year, when he averaged just 11.6 points.
He’s a seven-foot center who’s known for his ability to shoot the basketball. It’s just a shame that shooting the ball has been one of the many aspects of his game he’s struggled with when healthy this season.
For the Raptors sake, if they choose to hold on to him for the rest of the year, they better hope and pray that he doesn’t kill his market value any more than he already has.
I’m not closing the door on Andrea being dealt before Thursday, because of course, anything can happen in the NBA.
I’m sure fans of the team would love nothing more than for the Andrea Bargnani era in Toronto to come to an abrupt end sometime over the next 72 hours.