In the latest update to the story that just won’t go away, Andrea Bargnani for Pau Gasol is no longer just a hypothetical trade proposal made by media members and fans, but rather an actual possibility according to ESPN and CBS Sports.

On Wednesday evening, Ken Berger of CBS Sports wrote that “rival executives believe the most likely landing spot for Gasol is Toronto, which could offer Andrea Bargnani in return and bolster the Lakers’ point-guard deficiency with Jose Calderon.”

The report was taken seriously enough that hours later, the landing page of Hoops Hype looked like this:

Berger also writes that “sources say Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has shown no willingness to part with Bargnani,” but I almost can’t believe that it’s humanly possible to still believe in Bargnani in Toronto anymore. Plus, later Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, ESPN.com ran a story about the Lakers recently rejecting Pau Gasol trade inquiries from at least two teams, which the article later reveals were the Raptors and Timberwolves.

Citing unnamed sources, the ESPN report states that Toronto and Minnesota “have both recently tried to engage the Lakers in trade discussions for Gasol,” but that Mitch Kupchak doesn’t want to trade Pau until he can see what the Lakers look like when healthy, and specifically when the offence is run by a healthy Steve Nash. The report also goes on to say that in addition to Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Linas Kleiza “are among the players, sources say, that the Raptors have discussed making available to the Lakers in a deal for Gasol.”

Both reports point out the fact that Bargnani has a reputation as being soft or that he has deficiencies on defence and rebounding the ball, but they also point out the fact that Bargnani being a stretch power forward would make him an ideal frontcourt mate for Dwight Howard and an overall ideal candidate for Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system. I agree.

Under D’Antoni, in an offence run by Nash and alongside Kobe Bryant, but more importantly beside the one player in the world who can mask his deficiencies (Howard), Bargnani would be a perfect fit for the Lakers, and he could probably carve out a role as an All Star big man because of those factors. But that’s not saying much, and we know for damn sure that he’s not going to be that guy – at least not for more than 13 games at a time – in Toronto, so watching him potentially flourish in L.A. won’t make me think that the Raptors gave up on him too soon or anything silly like that.

As for Gasol, some say that trading Bargnani for a perceived wash up veteran with knee tendinitis is pointless, but I don’t actually see Pau as washed up, and to be honest, with how painfully obvious it is that Bargnani doesn’t belong with this Raptors team, I’d probably be okay trading him for just about anything right now. Okay, not really, but you get the point. No team is going to give up a young building block type player for a few years of Bargnani, so unless the Raptors decide to experiment with Andrea as a sixth man, he probably just has to go…anywhere.

If you can find a way to get a player of Gasol’s quality and stature in that trade without having to give up one of the younger core pieces, I really don’t see how anyone can be opposed to it. While Pau isn’t in the prime of his career by any stretch, he’s still a much, much better big man and overall basketball player than Bargnani is right now.

On bad knees at 32-years-old, Gasol’s rebounding rate is nearly double that of the healthy 27-year-old Bargnani’s. Gasol’s assist percentage is more than double that of Bargnani’s. Pau’s block percentage is higher, he has a better offensive rating and defensive rating. Looking at the advanced metrics and even many of the basic stats, it’s clear to see that Gasol is still better than Bargnani in virtually every facet of the game.

Gasol started this season with an opening night performance of 23 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Has Bargnani ever put together such a complete game in the NBA?

Sure, Bargnani can shoot threes and can space the floor in ways Gasol never can, but the last time I checked, it’s not exactly necessary to have a floor spacing big man, especially if you’re going to end up with a disadvantage in basic basketball fundamentals like rebounding and defence.

Another knock against Gasol is his contract, but that’s being overblown. The Raptors’ cap situation wouldn’t change much this season if they moved Bargnani and Calderon to get Gasol, and while Gasol is still owed over $19 million next season, his deal will be an expiring one in 2013-14 whereas Bargnani still has an $11.5 million option for 2014-15. So Toronto’s cap flexibility would take a hit next year, but it would also clear up quicker than it would with Andrea on the books.

If in some alternate universe the Raptors can trade Bargnani for a young building block, or if like in NBA 2K13 the Raptors could partner Bargnani with Howard in Toronto, then fine. Heck, if you can turn him into some kind of super-sub here, I’m okay with that, too. But it’s more apparent than ever that Bargnani probably has to go, and if  he can be parlayed into Pau Gasol, Raptors fans should be more than content despite Pau’s age and lucrative salary.

It sounds like we’ll have to wait a little while longer before the Lakers get serious about trading Pau, but considering that it started off as just a pipe-dream, the fact that this trade now sounds like an actual possibility is something.

Comments (50)

  1. For the first time in history, the Raptors made… headlines??? What are headlines? Not ever heard of in sports team in Toronto.

  2. Is Pau Gasol the right direction for this team? No. The Raps should be looking to keep rebuilding

    Is Pau Gasol a concern due to injuries and age? Yes. Knee problems on a big man are a almost always problematic

    Is his contract large? Yes and it will be a bit a of a handcuff for the team for the next two years.

    Is this deal worth it? GOD YES!! PLEASE. FOR ALL THATS GOOD AND HOLY, MAKE THIS HAPPEN. NO MORE HELL AND HIGH WATER PLEASE!!!

    • Freeing up cap space (whether the team uses it, or can use it properly is totally different) is theoretically sound, and can help a team compete sooner.
      Gasol is a better player, and if he plays decently the rest of the season, is more tradeable than Bargs next season.
      Getting the HOU pick sent and done with in a season without a deep draft would be good too, and I think Gasol is more likely to help the team juuuust miss the playoffs (and therefore giving up a worse pick).

  3. god after the loss last night to the crappy kings, bargs needs to get out of toronto for good

  4. Wait, so Colangelo is actually willing to trade Bargnani? Wow, I am pleasantly surprised by that.

    If they can do this trade, and then shop Gasol in the offseason to properly rebuild this team, I am more than ok with this trade.

  5. What makes people think BC isn’t willing to move Bargs? I just don’t think he wants to pull the trigger for the sake of making a move. I agree that he hasn’t done a great job but if you fire him, who would you replace him with? This franchise needs consistency. I heard Gasol has a trade clause, if this is true, why would he agree to come to Toronto especially if Calderon will be gone?

  6. Colangelo has two weaknesses when it comes to free agency… Internationals, and overpaid aging forwards with injury concerns. Pau fits the bill on both fronts, so no doubt raptors are in.

    If Pau gets healthy Lakers don’t do this trade, so best case scenario we trade for an injured Pau. At that point the return isn’t all that great but at this point the raptors need the culture shock that trading bargnani/calderon would provide more than they need equal assets in return.

  7. trade barnani for a small forward move davis to the starting rotation as the 4 man with what he has shown in the last couple weeks is more than barnani has showed all season, with out a doubt davis is our best rebounding big can block shots and has improved his 10ft jump shot, if givin the opportunity davis is a walking double double for the raps not to mention a guy who can block a couple shots a game, its time for davis to get his opportunity to show what he can do on the floor. even if BC cant make a deal for barnani they should have him coming off the bench i think playing with calderon and amir will complement him more than playing with lowry derozen and valenciunas. i also noticed last night that everytime the ball went to barnani the ball stopped moving, our offensive flow was slowed down and ended with barnani taking terrible out of rythem jump shots….

    • I’d be delighted with either Davis or Amir getting Barg’s minutes… both have shown the ability to knock down jumpers this year, and Amir’s range, and confidence in it, has been astounding. Both provide all of the other intangibles, but Amir is also skilled at running the high pick-and-roll, Davis still learning.

      • either would be nice but i think davis has more upside, better shot blocker and rebounder .amir is a bit more polished on the offensive end and you know what your going to get from him every night, hes had his opportunity to start numerous times and didnt seem to flourish although he has always played well but the way davis has been playing late in games and playing good defense its time to see if he will or wants to be apart of our future

  8. If the Raptors are able to make the trade for Gasol, would they be able to amnesty him in the off-season to get his massive salary off the books?

    I’m not too clear on how amnesty works and if teams can use it on a player they just traded for.

  9. Apparently this three way trade is being rumoured…
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=aaj6e3v

    It would include a Minnesota first rounder going to Toronto, as well as the Lakers pick.

    I have no idea whether there is any truth to it but I like it A LOT better than just getting Pau Gasol, whether or not he’s washed up. Gasol would be the typical Raptor move, trading for a name veteran on the downside of his career which helps the team in the short term, but hurts them in the long term.

    Pekovic allows Amir to move back to PF and gives the Raptors a bruising center that can share time with Valanciunas.

    Williams might be a bust, but it’s worth taking a chance to see if he can play SF. He’s got talent, and the Raptors are in a position to gamble.

    The two draft picks are what the Raptors need the most, not veterans who are past their prime.

    We need to stop this quest for mediocrity the team has been on since it’s inception. Trading for Gasol would be a continuation of that.

    • I’d make this trade in a heartbeat

    • That trade is way better than getting Gasol, but I don’t see why Minny would trade Pekovic. And why they’d be inclined to include a pick as well.

      Williams at the 3 wasn’t great, or even good, in Minny, not sure why it would work better in Toronto.

      • I don’t know why Minnesota would trade Pekovic, either, but that’s apparently the rumour. Earlier in the day, I’d suggested a very similar trade, but Brandon Roy in place of Pekovic. Obviously getting Pekovic would be better, but I’d take on the permanently injured Roy, to get the deal done. Then I can see Minnesota throwing in their pick. I’d actually want the 2014 pick (which I think they’d have to do anyway, since they gave away last year’s pick and can’t trade away consecutive picks).

        Derrick Williams would be a roll of the dice, but there’d be little downside to it. If he doesn’t work out at the three, then don’t pick up his option. If he does, and he can regain some of that scoring touch he had in college, then fantastic.

    • If it helps us make sure that OKC gets the pick this year, I’m ok with having Gasol temporarily. But then it would require Gasol being traded in the offseason, as well as most of the team.

      The problem I have with moving Gasol to a third team in the initial trade is the risk that the Raptors end up getting a top 3 pick and keeping it.

      • You have a point. It seems like the best draft to lose a lottery pick is this year.

        My fear, though, is that acquiring Gasol would be enough to allow Colangelo to keep his job.

        • Yeah, that’s the problem.

          Unfortunately, it could come down to a pick your poison type situation moving forward.

  10. If a broken Gasol is what is returned for Bargs/Jose, I still take it if for no other reason it should result in the gutting of the BC tenure which has been a dismal failure.

  11. Nash has a kicker. When he signed in LA he signed a clause that Pau won’t get traded if he says.

  12. this is ridiculous, from criticized trade machine post to legitimate story, like wtf

  13. Okay, for anyone not liking this trade from a Raptors perspective, you literally must have serious intelligence deficiencies. For the basically all the reasons listed in the last 2/3 of the article, this is a NO-BRAINER! The fact the Lakers would even think about this and not hang up immediately, is a minor miracle. The fact that people out there actually think Bargnani is a “great shooter” and “legitimate floor-spacing 4″ is laughable and wonderful in itself. Check out his PER this year. Check out his percentages and efficiency. HELL YES WE MAKE THIS TRADE A IN FUCKING HEARTBEAT!!!! Jose? Sure. Kleiza too? Yes please! Bargnani has so worn out his welcome here it’s not even funny. I know the guy seriously does bring some stuff to the table, but we don’t want that stuff anymore in Toronto. Please, get rid of him. The fact we could get Gasol for him (and Calderon too, fine) is simply mind-blowing.

    • The only part I don’t like is the Raptors getting Gasol, because it’s simply a repeat of these band-aid moves we’ve seen far too much of as Raptor fans. Bring in an aging veteran to make the Raptors more competitive, but doesn’t actually solve the problems they have.

      • Right, but at this point, this would be a mighty good band-aid. And also, what are the alternatives? We need to get rid of Bargnani. This is undeniable. We may as well grab a good player for him. I mean, I’m up getting draft picks instead, but that isn’t as likely. I believe in order to solve their problems, they need to fire BC, for one. Getting rid of Bargnani for an asset is a good move too. We could also then look to push Gasol to a contender for a younger guy or a draft pick. Also, Gasol will be expiring this time next year. It gives us flexibility. And again, most importantly, gets rid of AB. I do agree with you though that we have many problems to solve. But solving one is better than none :)

        • The alternative is to move Gasol to a third team, like the T-Wolves, for instance, and acquire a couple of draft picks and a prospect. Otherwise history is just repeating itself.

          Add aging veteran on the downside of his career.

          Compete for playoff spot, but with no hope of actually making an impact there.

          Aging veteran declines and team is back to the lottery.

          Rinse, repeat.

  14. Been saying Garbgnani should have been traded years ago. Enough of these euros (except JV), lets get some real ballers in the team. Lowry is a start. Fields is a useless bum.

  15. If the CBS report, quoting “rival executives” is true, and Colangelo has show “no willingness to move Bargnani” re the Gasol rumours, Colangelo might as well type up his resignation, as he would be the main stumbling block in the Raptors rebuild/development.
    That is, unless he finally decides to allow Casey to play Bargnani as a 6th man, his true fit in the NBA.
    With Amir Johnson’s vastly improved shooting range, and superior defence, rebounding, and motor, HE should be the starting power forward, where he could also help JV learn what it’s like to play with someone who actually rotates in “help” defence, boxes out and battles for rebounds, runs the high pick-and-roll effectively, and will do the dirty work on loose balls.

  16. Can’t wait to see Andrea flourish in another franchise, maybe a more serious one, with more of a plan and less “random” plays.
    But even more than that I just can’t wait to see who is going to become the next scapegoat for TO fans. Because there will be one very soon, that’s for sure!

    ps: I myself AM a TO fan, but I have never looked for one single scapegoat. It’s the system as a whole that’s not working.

    • ha barnani wont flourish anywhere the only way he will flourish is off the bench or a 3rd maybe 2nd scoring option on a playoff team, he is with out a doubt the worst defending 7 footer in the nba with out a doubt the worst rebounding 7 foooter in the nba im not sure what your thinking but hes gotta go asap..

    • The system is definitely broken, but Bargnani’s struggles are not a product of the system, but of the flaws he came into the league with. When he was drafted, he was a non-rebounding, non-defending big man who was pretty much allergic to the paint. Anyone that thought he could change that is in the wrong business. Players don’t change their nature. Once they get to the NBA, they can improve their skills, but can’t really learn new ones (except on very rare occasions). Teaching Amir how to extend his jumpshot is not the same as Bargnani acquiring defensive and rebounding instincts, and making him relish contact in the paint.

      The fact that Colangelo not only didn’t realize that, and drafted him anyway, and apparently took nearly 7 years to discover this, is an indication that the Raptors are not going to be fixed until Colangelo is gone.

    • While I don’t agree with this entirely, I can see your point. Bargniani is not all that ails the Raptors, but he is a big part.

      Here are some other problems facing the Raptors:

      - Lowry has been awful defensively (perhaps worse than Calderon even) and selfish offensively (the fans love affair with him will fade quickly)
      - Derozan is still an inefficient scorer. A 2 guard must be able to shoot the lights out or break his man down. Derozan can do neither particularly well.
      - We don’t have a small forward…
      - Jonas has been very inconsistent (though understandably so)
      - T Ross can dunk on the fast break and played defense for 2 minutes against Harden. His penchant for jacking off balance shots off the dribble is concerning.
      - Calderon is a wash when he plays well offensively and a significant detriment when he is off offensively.
      - Ed Davis is a good rebounder and average defender with an offensive game that wouldn’t cut it at the YMCA.
      - Amir plays every third game and in between puts up stat lines reminiscent of Yogi Stewart.
      - Kleiza is a purely offensive player who cant shoot or drive.
      - JL3 and Aaron Gray are borderline NBA players

      To summarize, the greatest problem with the Raptors is how much the fans overrated this team to begin with. The playoff talk to start the season was laughable. The only positive that can be taken away is that perhaps this failed season will trigger a re-rebuilding. Its painfully obvious to me that this team lacks the true star that can deliver us from the NBA basement and the only way to acquire this star is through the draft (Andrew Wiggins anyone?). Unfortunately we traded away our pick this year so tanking is out of the question (since the top 3 is no guarantee). Getting a new GM in the off season would be the first step in a true rebuilding process.

      • By DRtg, Lowry is 8 points better than Calderon per 100 possessions. What makes you say he’s been bad (or worse) than Jose?

  17. Getting DWill for Bargnani would be an enormous victory for BC in this total loss of a season.

    It makes sense for all involved. Gasol being white will get more PT from Adelman. Dwill finally gets a chance to try playing steady mins in the league. Bargnani gets to play along his ideal frontcourt and backcourt partners.

    Colangelo saves face by trading his flawed 1st pick for a flawed but younger 2nd pick….too good to be true

  18. Bargs was utterly useless last night vs the Kings. They could have just played 4-on-5 with the same outcome when he was on the floor.

    For the sanity of the Raptor fans, BC please trade him. Move on and get the franchise going.

  19. Would a trade like this be possible, if so, it’s a lot better than the band-aid measure that is the archaic Gasol.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=c4fpp66

  20. anyway LA takes bargs, kleiza and lucas and we keep calderon? im not confident in johnlucas backing up lowry and see the season completely washed away once calderon leaves….lucas has shown he cant run an effective second unit.

    chris duhon? steve blake? ….yikes…

  21. For those who haven’t figured it out, Toronto is like Siberia. If you act like a turd, there is a fairly good chance that you will get traded to Toronto. (See: Lowry, Kyle and everyone else ever traded to Toronto). If you win two championships for an organization, you do not get traded to Toronto.

  22. im not sold on Pau because he is soft offensively and defensively and has been settling for more jumpers since winning his rings. I think I’d rather see bargs and jose traded for draft picks. Id be content with davis as our starting pf over the last few games i believe he is ready to be a starter.

    • Pau is not soft at all. The only legitimate concerns about him are his health and his fit on the Raptors at this point in time.

      • Agreed. You realize this dude is a borderline hall of famer, laterade, et al? An all-star? Better than anyone this franchise has ever had, with the possible exceptions of VC and CB? And you aren’t sold? What does that even mean? Because he’s not Kevin Durant? Dude, WE ARE THE TORONTO RAPTORS. We don’t get the chance to acquire all-star NBA champions all the time, especially for giving up dead weight. I would rather give up Bargnani for NOTHING than the status quo. I guess it hasn’t gotten to the point where all fans agree, but they will. Whatever. I’m sick trying to reason with people that are hesitant about AB and JC for PG. If you really think we are better off, then you simply don’t know the sport of basketball. The point is getting rid of deadweight, not trying to win the championship. Flip Gasol for a draft pick or young talent, but the point is GET A GOOD PIECE FOR BARGNANI IF POSSIBLE!!!!

  23. If we trade Bargnani I’d rather be getting a younger player like R Anderson or Josh Smith in return.

    • LMAO, are you on crack? you think either team would give up ryan anderson or josh smith for bargnani… STRAIGHT UP? LOOL… Bargnani blows, nobody wants that scrub

  24. why the hell does casey keep pulling davis who was 13 and 11 and playing tough D , for a piece of crapp 0 – 6 downtown 3 -14 overall, great game barny . stand at the 3 point line all game and watch J.V battle 2 guys for offencive boards or stand around and box nobody out so J.V can foul out of the 1st quarter cause he basically plays 2 guys all night with you on the court . trade barny and fire colangelo . i like casey but come on someone needs to snapp on barny and get in his face like bosh did a couple yrs ago

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