Throughout the NBA playoffs, where we Raptor fans are left to wallow, Raptors Republic brings you the 100 Words Series. Calling on RR writers and other Raptor scribes from around the internet and MSM, we’ll provide the Republic with 100-word takes on players, coaches, management and announcers. Look for these two or three times a week, continuing today with Andrea Bargnani. The mission I charged the contributors with was simple: you have 100 words (prose, poetry, song, whatever) to discuss said player.
Adam Francis, Raptors HQ
There’s not much left to say here with Bargs. This is a player who should never have been extended at his current price, who should have been dealt at least two years ago, and who now, instead of serving as a potentially intriguing “upside” player to teams in trades, looms as the club’s biggest neck-anvil.
What’s left now is an “addition by subtraction” scenario and even then, who knows if we see it come to fruition if Bryan Colangelo is still in charge.
Part of getting the Raptors back on the right path absolutely means resolving the Bargnani situation this off-season.
But considering I can’t recall another top pick in any sport being held onto for as long as he has, with hopes that his upside eventually shines through, I’m not holding my breath.
Andrew Thompson, Raptors Republic
The Andrea Bargnani experience has felt like being in one long fail video. But it hasn’t been without it’s high points, treasured memories and occasional moments when, if you completely ignored the larger sample size, really squinted your eyes and believed hard enough, it seemed like it just might maybe be something special. So let’s give the man his proper tribute with a couple of those special highlights, as I remember them.
Blake Murphy, Raptors Republic
I googled “how many curse words are there,” thinking I could just post 100 of them for my 100 words. Google doesn’t seem to know, so I’m left with actually writing. In an alternate universe, things have gone differently for Bargnani – he’s developed what was a promising shooting stroke, found a more competitive edge, grown to embrace the leadership role instead of wilting from it. And in that universe, the Raptors are better, but probably still not all that great. I think he’ll be gone, but if he remains he’ll remain in his current form – a low-efficiency scorer who hasn’t learned the Italian translations for help defense terms.
Eric Koreen, The National Post
When Bryan Colangelo made his ill-advised (but meaningless!) decision to announce he was looking to trade Andrea Bargnani, I heard it immediately: When Bargnani comes back in a different uniform, he will slay the Raptors. It was vintage Raptors fatalism. Anything that could go wrong will. To that I state, “Who cares?” Sure, the Raptors will not be able to get anything of value for him, given his contract. But he’s been failing in Toronto for too long now. The future might involve Bargnani hurting the Raptors, but the recent past has given us the same.
Tim W., Raptors Republic
He’s gotten more chances to be a star than Ryan Reynolds, but with him you can understand the reasoning behind it. I can’t tell you how many people took my criticism of him over the years personally, and I don’t understand why. If you’re going to align yourself with a player, should it really be a soft, underachieving big man who doesn’t play defense and is one of the worst rebounding seven-footers of all time? I mean, you’d think Bryan Colangelo would have better things to do than insult me. Hopefully he’ll have lots of time starting this summer.
Zarar Siddiqi, Raptors Republic
Invoking the amnesty alone doesn’t buy much in terms of flexibility, and his trade value is nil and declining. As much as we want to turn a new leaf, the stark reality is that a Bargnani resurgence is the only way the current roster improves significantly. On the other hand, it’s madness to give him another chance to let you down. Final Verdict: There’s no option but to keep him here in a limited role and hope he finds his three. He’s like the modern day Jim McIlvaine. Another scenario: Colangelo gets fired, hired somewhere else, and trades for Bargnani.