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Andrea Bargnani - PF/C, 7'0, 250
Signed in Spain - Signed with Laboral Kutxa
       Date of birth: 10/26/1985
       Country: Italy
     Drafted (NBA): 1st pick, 2006
     Out of: Benetton Treviso (Italy)
  NBA Experience: 10 years
  Hand: Right

From blog:

   New Jersey......Toronto.......London.

One thing that was apparent from our vantage point was the rebounding action on every play. Or, to put it another way, the lack of rebounding action on every play. We didn't need a close seat to see who was and wasn't fighting for position and the ball. To truly appreciate the rebounding apathies of Bargnani and Brook Lopez, you have to see them in person.

Other than the rebounding, defense and lack of passing, Bargnani played well.


Toronto's two best players, again, were Derozan and Bargnani. Bargnani mostly took good shots, mostly made good shots, and even put forth more rebounding effort, recording 12 for the game. He did little to stop Brook Lopez or impede the progress of any opposing Nets player, but he played well anyway. Derozan, meanwhile, continued the play he has now produced for several months, creating shots off the dribble, hitting them, running the court, hitting mid-range shots, and being a go-to player for his team in only his sophomore season. Any cynicism I may previously have had about Derozan has proven wildly off-base; the man is a fluid and productive with a good understanding of the game, particularly for one so young. He was the best player over the weekend, no mean feat in a weekend featuring Deron Williams. He seems to have neglected playing the defense he did as a rookie, and might have forgotten that he's supposed to pass sometimes, but these are often the perils of losing teams. If he can break those bad habits and maximize his talents, he really could be the first 20ppg shooting guard who can neither shoot nor dribble.

One thing of note is that the two did not pass to each other. At all. Is that due to nothing more than a coincidence, or some kind of conspiracy? Perhaps both. Neither is a great passer, neither does a great deal to get open off the ball, and Toronto doesn't exactly run the most intricate pass-and-move playbook. But the two had about as much chemistry as a Neil Funk and Stacey King sitcom. It doesn't bode well.

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   With Rudy Gay trade, Kings acquire something they already had

The Toronto Raptors and Bryan Colangelo brought in Rudy Gay in February as a last-ditch effort to save several years of maneuvering that hadn't been going so well. Gay was available for cheap and was supposed to be a significant upgrade over any of the players sent out to acquire him.

In theory, Gay would supersede DeMar DeRozan as the primary wing scorer, providing the isolation scoring from the wing that the team needed. He would be the infusion of pure talent that they lacked. And even though he didn't fit on paper alongside Derozan and Andrea Bargnani, the defense and rebounding of Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson and Landry Fields would offset it, as would the shooting of Terrence Ross. The sheer infusion of talent he represented would make it worthwhile.

In reality, it didn't work. Bargnani regressed to the point he became toxic, Lowry struggled, the team failed to find cohesiveness and defense. Meanwhile, DeRozan and Gay did not mesh at all. DeRozan in fact looks noticeably improved thus far this season and has ultimately ended up being the one who surpassed Gay. Arguably always surplus to requirements, Gay subsequently became extremely surplus to requirements, and at an enormous price tag. Even in spite of how recently he had arrived, it was clear that he had to go. But it looked impossible.

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   How the non-stars have helped revive the Knicks and Nets

[...] So why have the Knicks, so moribund and destitute two weeks ago, looking so improved in 2014? Tyson Chandler's return helped shore up the defense, but only briefly - in the last three games, all wins, he has played only four minutes total due to a respiratory infection. The J.R. Smith Experience continues in its own way, his occasionally spectacular performances interspersed with shocking performances and a permanent sideshow of unnecessary conduct. Andrea Bargnani has tapered away after a strong start, and the three point shot he is often assumed to have is once again absent (its fourth consecutive season of being so). And while Carmelo Anthony continues to try to do it all, with some success, Mike Woodson's strategy of defense-first isoball has not had enough weapons to succeed.

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   Knicks aren't prepared for life without Chandler

The Knicks rather put themselves in this situation by assembling a roster with only five recognised big men. They never gave themselves enough ammunition to weather a storm of injuries, and they especially needed to do so in light of how injury prone their big man rotation is. Included in those five are Chandler (who once failed a physical exam, rescinding a trade that would have affected the outcome of at least one NBA championship), Kenyon Martin (who gets injured so often that his contract this year becomes unguaranteed if he misses more than 15 games due to pre-existing knee injuries), Andrea Bargnani (66 games combined over the last two seasons) and Amar'e Stoudemire (so famously fragile he's on a minutes limit).

[...] It's also not entirely fair to say that New York should have found a replacement for Chandler that saw them drop off very little. Good players are hard to replace for a reason - to take this point to its absurd extreme, we couldn't fault Miami if LeBron got seriously injured for not finding a similar quality backup. Chandler is a very good rebounder and interior defender, and those things are hard to come by. If New York doesn't have a high quality second string center, then, well, nor do most teams.

The problem, though, is that they don't have even an average one. And that is something they should have anticipated, particularly in the knowledge of Chandler's injury history. Regrettably, but predictably, this has all hinged on the Bargnani trade.

The thinking behind the Bargnani trade was never that obvious. It appeared simply that the Knicks valued Bargnani's potential presence as a creator and the offensive diversity he provides, enough to warrant his acquisition despite the pronounced flaws in his game. Bargnani, one of the worst rebounders in NBA history, is also a fairly mediocre defensive player, and for all his skills offensively, he is fairly inefficient. He is not as good of a shot maker as he is a shot creator. Bargnani deceives and teases with his skills, but they don't have a great deal of tangible effect. Now that New York has lost Chandler, whose strengths reconciled nicely with Bargnani's weaknesses, the holes in Andrea's game and the Knicks' roster will become more palpable. With the assets they acquired Bargnani with, they should have targeted more defensive help.

Most importantly, they overpaid for a player who was a significant negative for his team the previous season. It is true that Marcus Camby and Steve Novak were not hugely important for the Knicks going forward, especially Camby, who barely played last season. However, that doesn't mean you trade them for a flawed player who until recently was a valid candidate for amnesty, especially when three draft picks were included. It matters not how low those picks were - Bargnani didn't merit them. And New York is about to find out why.

Bargnani in a best case scenario provides much of what Stoudemire already does. With Amar’e being as unreliable as he is, that has its merits. However, even before they acquired Bargnani, the Knicks needed athleticism, hustle, perimeter defense, some post-up offense and an extra rebounder. They never got it with him. And now, without Chandler, they really need it.

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Signed in Spain


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