Well here’s something to pass the time while we watch more worthy teams play primetime TNT games and wait for the end of the world…
In a New York Times article posted Thursday about Amare Stoudemire’s eventual return to the Knicks lineup, Howard Beck dropped an intriguing revelation for Raptors fans. Citing “a person briefed on the discussion,” Beck reports that “In February, the Knicks wanted to send Stoudemire to Toronto in a deal for Andrea Bargnani.”
He goes on to write that the offer never made it to the Raptors because Knicks chairman James Dolan shot it down, but that according to team officials, Toronto “would not have made the deal anyway.”
Looking back on things, it makes sense that the Knicks were considering making this proposal. New York was hovering around .500 and generally under-performing at the time, Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony didn’t look good as a tandem when they were on the floor together, Amare’s max contract was starting to look like the disaster most pundits thought it would be, and Bargnani was enjoying the best season of his career, albeit in just 13 games.
What’s curious is that Andrea didn’t actually play any games in February this year, as after re-injuring his left calf in Utah on January 25, he didn’t suit up again until March 10. But again, considering how bad Stoudemire’s contract was looking and how much the Knicks were struggling to live up to expectations, it’s not hard to imagine the Knicks wanting a 26-year-old (at the time) Bargnani who was averaging 23.5 points on 47.6 per cent shooting to go along with 6.4 rebounds, especially when he saved some of his best performances over the years (including a career-high 41 points) for New York.
Furthermore, remember that in February, Mike D’Antoni was still manning the sidelines at MSG, and based on the plethora of Bargnani to the Lakers rumours we’ve discussed over the last month or so, we know all about how well Andrea would theoretically fit into a D’Antoni offence.
From the Raptors’ perspective, it’s also totally understandable why Bryan Colangelo and co. would not have considered this deal. As ludicrous as it now seems in hindsight after another uninspiring stretch of poor Bargnani play to start this season, at the reported time of this would-be proposal, plenty of people thought Bargnani might have finally “figured it out” under Dwane Casey’s tutelage, so you know B.C. wasn’t about to give him away for an older player on bad knees and a horrible contract just when Andrea was looking capable of repaying six years worth of faith.
Even without that positive and misleading 13-game run and even as bad as Bargnani has been to start 2012-13, I still wouldn’t trade him for Amare. I want the Raptors to rid themselves of Bargs as much as anyone, but Stoudemire has nearly $20 million on the books for this season and is scheduled to make roughly $45 million over the two years after this season. In other words, he might own the NBA’s lone truly untradeable contract.