Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Clippers

After a couple of games where he was ruled out at the last minute, Andrea Bargnani will finally return to the lineup against the Celtics tonight after missing the last eight weeks with an elbow injury.

While I may not be foolish enough to wipe the slate clean with Bargnani like so many Raptors fans naively do every time he returns from injury or starts a new season, I am genuinely looking forward to seeing how well or how miserably Bargnani fits into this new-look Raptors lineup. I’m also interested to see how quickly he earns his starting spot back. With Ed Davis playing as well as he was, nobody wanted Andrea’s name to be called with the rest of the starters, but with Davis gone, the Raptors’ only options at power forward are Amir Johnson in a big lineup that also features Aaron Gray/Jonas Valanciunas, Rudy Gay or maybe Landry Fields in a small lineup, or Quincy Acy in a lineup that would likely indicate the Raptors are under-manned.

More than anything, I’d like to see how Bargnani looks in a lineup where Gay attracts more of the opposition’s attention. Earlier this season, when Andrea was actually shooting better from three-point range than two-point territory, I often mentioned that he had reduced himself to nothing more than a three-point specialist. Unfortunately, even his three-point shooting eventually tailed off (he’s shooting 31.9% on the season from deep), and the truth is that he hasn’t shot better than 35 per cent from beyond the arc in a season in three years (2009-10), which just happens to be the last time he played regular minutes with a teammate that consistently drew double-teams.

At the very least, with Pau Gasol getting injured last night and the only trade options out there for Bargnani likely players on bad contracts of their own, I’d like to see how he looks in a few games coming off the bench as a second unit scorer.

It’s not ideal, but the circumstances may dictate that Bargnani sticks around until at least the end of the season. If so, we’re stuck in “wait and see” mode yet again when it comes to the “enigma of ell enigmas.”

Comments (10)

  1. is he a buyout option if he doesn’t get trade
    (after kleiza of course)

  2. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Bargnani stick around for, at least the rest of the season. I also wouldn’t surprise me at all to discover that Colangelo is not quite ready to part with him, yet.

    I was just saying to someone else, no matter how Bargnani plays when he returns, I can’t see ANY circumstance that would prevent me from taking the first decent deal I could find for him. Not for someone with his history. In nearly 7 years, he’s NEVER consistently done anything except play below average defense, score inefficiently, be one of the worst rebounding 7 footers of all time (it’s unfortunately true) and infuriate fans with lackadaisical play. Why on earth would you tempt fate and assume he won’t revert back to his norm?

    If he plays well upon his return, the smart thing to do would be to move him ASAP. Now if only Colangelo would do the smart thing…

  3. I have decided that given newly found optimism from Rudy Gay trade I will give Andrea Bargnani one more chance to not suck at basketball (which he generally does) before I add him to my “people to throw garbage at if seen in public” list….

  4. trade him for Gortat or Scola or K.Love or a bag of peanuts just for the love of god TRADE Primo Pasta!!!!!!!!!!

    • If bc manages to get love for bargnani, then he will be a genius. A 4 that rebounds and can shoot from the perimeter is exactly what the raptors need. Chances of that happening is zero to none though

  5. I’d trade Bargnani for an injured Pau Gasol.

  6. tbh, i thought he played pretty well tonight.
    the runs the raptors put together were when he was in the game. Obviously there were a few smh moments, but overall he was one of the more effective players tonight.

    Rudy Gay, AA and DD have got to stop taking 3′s. We were up by 10 and these guys starting jackin up 3′s in the fourth!! we lost a 10 point lead in 3 fkn minutes.

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