That’s all I can really say at this point. That…and that I’m probably done.
Sorry to scrap the post-game from that awful Washington Wizards game on Sunday, but this is far more important. Without further ado…
Multiple sources are reporting (mostly on Twitter, though sources I have within the Raptors are also “not confirming” with a wink and a nod) that the Toronto Raptors have signed Andrea Bargnani to a three-year, $24M extension that will kick in at the end of his current deal.
The polarizing Bargnani, the 2006 No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, is currently on the shelf for the remainder of the season with elbow troubles. It’s a crazy turn for a franchise that was shopping him just weeks ago, and almost a certain sign that general manager Bryan Colangelo’s option year will be exercised by the club.
Bargnani, of course, draws the ire of Raptor fans for his inconsistent play, though he’s at least been consistently bad in 2012-13. He’s posted near career lows across the board, with a True Shooting Percentage of just 48.3% and an anemic 7.6% Rebound Rate. His defense also failed to improve on its 2011-12 improvement, making him entirely valueless (according to BRef’s Win Shares) or somehow of negative value (according to every person who watched him play this year).
Bargnani is making $10M this season and is scheduled to earn $10.75M and $11.5M the next two seasons. So, yeah, this extension averaging $8M a year is a relative discount, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks he’ll earn this amount, I’m sure. If you think maybe the security will help him settle back in after a few tumultuous seasons, here is a refresher on player’s with his closest similarity score through this point in his career: John Brown, David Benoit, Jeff Cook, Danny Vranes and Rodney Rogers. I doubt very much a declining 27 year old will somehow find a new lease on his basketball life thanks to some financial security.
Like…there aren’t words for this level of stupidity in an organization. How the board could justify this extension, or how Colangelo could sign it, or how the team could walk in the locker room today and not riot, is beyond me. Your core for the next few years is now DeRozan, Gay and Bargnani with Valanciunas fighting for touches. I’m sure an Alan Anderson extension will follow shortly.
This isn’t even securing mediocrity for the short term, this is securing a full walk-out from fans (I hope). I for one, am probably done. Yes, I’ll be called a traitor and a bad fan and blah blah blah…but I can’t support a team that would make a move like this. I’ll cheer for the Seattle Whatevers or just be a general NBA fan.
I’m shocked. Write it down folks. The day the Toronto Raptors died – April…1.