Bye For Now or For Good for Andrea Bargnani?

The Raptors play the Celtics tonight and honestly that is of very little interest for me at this point. You want some grime reality on this match-up? The Raptors are 8-24 against Boston on the road all-time. They last beat the Celtics in Boston in January of 2008. Rudy Gay did make the trip to Boston and is expected to be a game time decision. Andrea Bargnani did not make the trip and news today that he is being shut down for the season.

The injury is an avulsion sprain of the right elbow. Yes the same elbow that was hurt before but it the release issued by the Raptors it is stated this injury is in not way related to the previous injury. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I am not a doctor so I have no idea. That said as a non-medical person I can safely say that Andrea Bargnani’s right elbow is not good.

All of those people that felt Andrea Bargnani could improve his stock in these final games of the Raptors season can shelve that pipe dream. In fact Bargnani has reminded people that he is not only struggling on the floor but you can seriously question his health long term. Last year it was a calf, this year it is an elbow what will it be next year?  Injury prone is becoming a more than fair label. Some might go further and question his heart to play through injures in the first place. Most would conclude that Amir Johnson is likely playing through all kinds of aches and pains. Andrea does not have a history or being my of a solider in that regard.

You have to feel for Bryan Colangelo or whoever has the job of ridding the Toronto Raptors of Andrea Bargnani. He clearly has done absolutely nothing to help in that regard. You wonder if the Raptors should just cut bait completely and move on. It is not like other franchises have not done it with first overall picks before. The Blazers got next to nothing for Greg Oden, Wizards the same with Kwame Brown. Is Bargnani as bad as all of that?  He is not terminally injured like Greg Oden and he is not devoid of talent like Kwame Brown.

Still you have to wonder if Andrea Bargnani getting amnestied is the eventual road we could travel. What team is willing to take the risk on Bargnani who they can’t even sell as a healthy player that just needs a change of scenery? What the Raptors would or could get back in a trade for Bargnani could be even worse in terms of contract. If the Raptors are not concerned with that it is fine. Some of the comments from Bryan Colangelo as recently as the trade deadline suggest the Raptors are still concerned with how much is being spent.

To amnesty a first overall pick would be the ultimate admission of failure but it might be what makes the most sense for the Raptors. That said, the odds they would actually go to that extreme, still seem very slim. That said how much do you think Bryan Colangelo’s phone is ringing for people wanting to bring Andrea Bargnani to their franchise? The old WCW Hotline is probably getting more calls at this point.

The Raptors took a major step in getting rid of Jose Calderon and actually turning that into a major asset in Rudy Gay. It was just as important for the Raptors to turn the page from Calderon as it was to acquire Gay. The same thing is true of Andrea Bargnani. It is time for him to go by any means necessary.

Anyone that thinks, this can all be fixed and Bargnani can play his way back into the favour of Raptor fans, while some how becoming a valued asset is clearly dreaming. The Raptors as they have in other situations waited to long to act. The writing was on the wall and they just decided to ignore it.

If only the NBA was like the NFL with non-guaranteed contracts. Bargnani could have been cut and sent packing long before now. In fact all this talk of crazy contracts that Colangelo signs would be hardly relevant. Perhaps if the Raptors were to let Bryan go, he would make a good G.M in the NFL where contracts are written in pencil not pen.

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