It has become pretty clear that the Toronto Raptors have an appetite to trade Andrea Bargnani, as much as he has for Primo Pasta and sauce. So today in the blog I am going put on my fantasy G.M hat and see if I can find a deal that makes some sense. The first team that came rushing to mind in wanting to unload Bargnani was the Golden State Warriors. Why them? Well they really have never cared about defence and Bargnani's ability to score and shoot three's fits right in the mix with what they do.
So here is the best deal I could come up with that might make some sense for both sides.
To Golden State:
Andrea Bargnani (PF/C)-(Done for Andrea's Benefit)
Jerryd Bayless (PG)
Solomon Alabi (C)
Andris Biedrin (C)
Jermey Lin (PG)
Not the greatest trade but Biedrins will rebound and can be a legit 5 in your line-up. Bayless will need to go anyway assuming you can not move Calderon and the Raptors target a point guard in the draft. I tried working this trade to include Udoh or Wright and could find not scenario that made any real sense for the Raptors. Lin is a project and makes for an excellent 3rd option at the point and can develop into a back-up you hope for when Calderon is off the books. Maybe you add a swap of first round picks for Raptors 1st pick this year for Warriors first next year in a stronger draft class. But that would leave you very thin at PG. MLSE would love to have Lin to engage the Asian Community. When he came this season there was a lot of interest from them when the Warriors paid a visit.
The New York Knicks were said to be interested in Andrea Bargnani and again another team not known for it's D under the current coach they have. How interested would they be? Well this trade would test the limits of that. I can not find any trade that makes any sense for the Knicks given their plan to try to bring in Chris Paul. If Calderon's deal was a year shorter you could come up with some things that make sense but it isn't. So despite the rumours it doesn't seem like New York is a likely landing spot. Which is to bad given they have some interesting players like Landry Fields who would be someone you would want to see come back the other way. Assuming Barbosa picks up his option you might be able to take a second look at this trade option again. That 7.1 million off the books along with Bargnani makes it more interesting for the Knicks.
How about Orlando no way Andrea Bargnani can play the Center there. Dwight is already making up for a ton of poor defenders anyway and Stan Van Gundy never liked his hair anyway. I tried to make this on work but gave up after many failed attempts. I was attempting to bring back J.J Redick and another piece in Ryan Anderson but I was denied based on the BYC's in both Redick and Bargnani's contract. Stan Van gets to keep his hair and we look for another partner to trade wiith.
Here is one if the Suns are truly crazy it does work math wise but doesn't really stand up to the whole logic test. But this team did trade for Hedo Turkoglu right?
Andrea Bargnani PF/C
Jose Calderon PG
James Johnson SF
Raptors 1st round pick 2011
Steve Nash PG
Marcin Gortat C
The only way this happens is if 2 things are true. One that Steve Nash truly wants to leave the Suns and come home to Canada with the chances of a title in his final years being limited. Two that the Suns are convinced they can find a point guard of the future with the Raptors pick (TBD) in the draft. For that to happen you would have to believe that guy would be Irving and thus the Raptors would be trading the 1st overall pick because seems doubtful Irving would slip to 3rd or lower. The Suns would have to be insane to do this or have a gun put to their heads.
The point to all of this is moving Bargnani will be difficult to say the least. What you need is a trading partner that is a team that is not worried about his defence and has a significant need for his scoring. The BYC on his contract also makes moving him a challenge as well. That subtracts value of his contract in terms of trades. It will be difficult to make it all work but if Bryan Colangelo has showed us anything in his time here, it is that he can find ways to make deals happen. Well deals not with the Charlotte Bobcats. This is of course assuming that Bryan is the trigger man on this deal. Which we are still waiting to hear from MLSE on. Must be caught up in Leafs Playoff Fever....Wait a minute. About the great success the soccer team has had at the start of the MLS season....Um NO. To busy counting money and looking to get out while the getting is good for the Teacher's Pension Fund....DING DING....WINNER!!!!
The one thing that I have taken away from my own observations and talking with others like Jack Armstrong yesterday, is that there is no way the Raptors can start the next season with Calderon and Bargnani on floor as starters. If they do this off-season will have been a complete failure. A lot of their ability to do so will be determined by the new CBA whenever that is finally agreed too. As such all these trade ideas will need to be revisited anyway as the rules will have changed and may make trades easier or harder to execute. I have said this so many times in the last few months, it is hard to evaluate where this team is heading based on that. It is like trying to find a town you have never heard of with no maps or GPS. Not exactly easy. But what seems very easy to figure out is Bargnani is clearly on the market and likely the best asset the Raptors have to trade that they are willing too.