In my column Tuesday, Toronto Raptors Must Amnesty Andrea Bargnani, I pleaded with the team’s brass to end the Italian experiment. There was no trade in sight and the best way to get rid of the cloud surrounding the entire franchise would be to admit their mistake and cut all ties.
That was yesterday, today my thoughts ring even truer. It looks like Andrea Bargnani has played his last game in the uniform of the Toronto Raptors. Adam Francis publisher at RaptorsHQ this morning tweeted:
“Medical details: Bargnani suffered ‘an avulsion sprain of the right elbow.’ Injury apparently not related to his previous right elbow injury.”
Bargnani is done for the season. The Raptors will not have a chance to show off any of his skills to prospective suitors. He has averaged only 11 points per game in the 35 he played this season. In a season where the Raptors needed him to show his true game either to make the playoffs or to showcase for a trade: he did neither.
General manager Brian Colangelo had many opportunities to trade him but didn’t. Bargnani could’ve gone to a contender or a team of his choice. Now he will be amnestied in the summer and I doubt whether any teams will bid for his services.
Bargnani’s play has always been that of what ifs. What if he could develop a more consistent inside game? What if he could show the desire and heart of players less skilled than him? What if he could play defense and rebound like his size should enable him? What if he stayed healthy?
Sadly, what ifs have changed to whys. Why did the team draft him first overall? Why didn’t he pan out? Why didn’t Colangelo trade him? Why does no other team want him?
For Raptors fans the end is finally near. Bargnani won’t be seen in a Raptors uniform anymore. The cloud hanging over the franchise should end with an amnesty in July. It will now be Rudy Gay’s team. You can hear the Memphis Grizzlies faithful saying “Good luck with that”.
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