One thing is for sure: Andrea Bargnani has well over-stayed his welcome with the Toronto Raptors. Mid-way through his 7th season, Bargnani has a stretch of 13 games where he has played to his potential; at an all-star level that would have allowed him to finally live up to his number one pick expectations.
While it may be harsh, Bargnani has been an complete cancer to the team thus far this season, and that is nothing but the truth. Bargnani’s shooting woes have lasted all season long, and even cost the Raptors a few games, but Dwane Casey continues to give him heavy minutes despite Ed Davis‘ extremely efficient stats. Davis appears poised to break out, and he just can’t do it with Bargnani taking most of the minutes at the four spot.
The rumor mill has been churning as of late, with multiple reports suggesting the Raptors have offered Bargnani and Jose Calderon to the Los Angeles Lakers for Pau Gasol. Dumping Bargnani along with Calderon for the proven all-star Gasol would be a complete steal for the Raptors. Not long ago, Gasol was the most dominant big man in the game. Believe it or not, Gasol hasn’t been the source of the Lakers’ early season struggles, it’s been the whole system shock, and Gasol is often used as the scapegoat.
Gasol has been treated poorly by the Lakers organization to say the least, however he still remains content playing for a championship contender. Calderon, who’s been a life time Raptor, has also been disrespected many times by the Raptors organization but is a true professional and remains content as well.
While it would be sad to see Calderon go, it is time to part ways with him and Bargnani, as they just don’t fit in anymore. Calderon isn’t happy with his back-up role, and as an expiring contract, it seems unlikely that he re-signs as a backup this off-season, so trading him would be the safest move. As for Bargnani, it’s not working out anymore, and regardless of this deal falling through, they both need to be moved and likely will be due to Bryan Colangelo‘s urgency considering his job is on the line.
As for Gasol, adding him to a team that already has a top 10 positional talent in Kyle Lowry, it’s adding a substantial piece to the core of this team that will be in a much better position, and the playoffs will certainly not look out of reach.
However, this trade is unlikely considering the Lakers are likely going to realize Gasol isn’t the problem, and actually can fit well with LA’s new system. While unlikely, if they decide to make a rash, horrible decision and ship Gasol to the Raptors, then all Raps fans can do is jump for joy.
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