The fans of the Toronto Raptors have been on a high lately. General manager Brian Colangelo hit the jackpot when he acquired Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies. The team has a closer and has finally started winning games they used to lose. The trade deadline was upon them, and the only thing that could make Raptors fans jump even higher was getting rid of Andrea Bargnani.
Bargnani fittingly didn’t score any points in what was supposed to be his last game Wednesday night when the Raptors lost a home game to the Grizzlies. The team looked like a shell of themselves and seemed like they were waiting for the other shoe to drop. The shoe was supposed to be Bargnani’s plane ticket out of the city but that didn’t occur.
Colangelo had two tasks to accomplish coming into this season. He needed to trade Jose Calderon’s expiring contract and get value in return. He did that in bringing Gay to Toronto. His second and most important task was ridding the franchise of Bargnani who has been one of its biggest mistakes.
Now it’s a very simple equation for Colangelo, as his job rests with whether the Raptors make the playoffs. If they don’t, everyone will say that Bargnani should have been traded to bring in more assets at the deadline. When the deadline passed and ‘Il Mago’ was still on the squad, it is now clear to me that Colangelo will get fired today, tomorrow or at the end of the season. Making the playoffs would be the only thing that saves him.
I am sure he tried to trade the 7-footer. I am sure he will say that the he wasn’t getting value in return for a former future first overall draft pick. But there really isn’t much value there as Bargnani doesn’t act or play like a former first overall pick. Colangelo should have just been asking for a bench player.
The organization did make a move today as they brought in Sebastian Telfair from the Phoenix Suns to force Kyle Lowry to continue looking over his shoulder and worry about his play, but fans can still boo the Italian distraction that will lead Brian Colangelo out of town.
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