In a report that should come as no surprise to anyone who’s followed this team in recent years, ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted the following on Saturday morning…
First order of biz for new Raps GM Masai Ujiri: Word is he’ll shop Andrea Bargnani everywhere he can in hopes of moving him before July 1
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 1, 2013
Bargnani has two years and $22,250,000 remaining on the contract that Bryan Colangelo prematurely signed him to in 2009, though he does have an Early Termination Option ahead of the 2014-15 season. With Colangelo now out of the picture (sort of), you’d have to assume that the amnesty provision is at least worth considering for Ujiri, but it’s also wise to explore the trade market in hopes of finding some semblance of value for the enigmatic big man.
If Ujiri decides there’s nothing worth acquiring after those trade talks but is hell bent on cutting ties with Bargnani, teams can amnesty players during a one-week window in July (Remember that Linas Kleiza picked up his $4.6 million player option for next season, which is also amnesty eligible).
Either way, whether it’s by trade or amnesty, ridding himself of Andrea Bargnani will garner Ujiri immediate praise in Toronto from fans who see it as Masai doing in a couple of months what Bryan should have done a long time ago.