Seven years ago, almost to the day, the Raptors selected Andrea Bargnani as the first overall pick, thus setting expectations that accompany the first overall selection. Much like the 2013 draft, there was no consensus #1 pick that year, but the passage of time ensures that few remember that. In hindsight, Bargnani was no worse than the third-best player in the lottery that year, which is no shame in itself. A unique specimen on paper, Bargnani was the epitome of a player that could cause havoc in the NBA landscape, by further revolutionizing the center position like Dirk Nowitzki had done years before.

Bryan Colangelo can’t be blamed for having had the vision of Andrea Bargnani as the next Dirk Nowitzki. The physical tools were almost identical, and a case could be made that Bargnani’s offensive game was more refined than Nowtizki in year one, before Nowitzki surged ahead in year two. Unfortunately for Bargnani, the manner of success he had his rookie year left an imprint on him which significantly influenced the trajectory of his career.

Instead of developing the weaker areas of his game – like his post-moves, rebounding, and any sort of defense – he continued to live on the perimeter on offense, and simply refused defensive responsibility. He figured that what worked in his rookie year was going to work in years to come, and completely discounted scouting reports and the league adjusting to him. Sure, he was a unique problem, but it’s not like he didn’t have a remedy. His effort and effectiveness fell, and when that happens a coach use a variety of tools to sort the player out. Cutting back playing time in conjunction with personalized coaching and a little bit of “tough love” can make players realize what they’re doing wrong, and give them a chance to get back on track. This process was never applied to Bargnani, and it wasn’t for the coach not trying.
andrea_bargnani
When Sam Mitchell recognized Bargnani’s issues as being detrimental to the team to the point of calamity, he benched him and got fired for it. It was the first blatant evidence of Andrea Bargnani playing to a different set of rules than the rest of the team, and that’s because he happened to be the #1 pick, and the man who selected him was hell-bent on justifying that decision, no matter what the team repercussions were. Bargnani averaged 31, 35, 36, and 34 minutes per game in years where he was arguably at his weakest defensively, and was the most inconsistent performer on the floor.

The reality of his career had set in: a talented but streaky perimeter player with serious effort issues who happens to be a defensive sieve; some nights he’s capable of putting 35, but mostly he’ll be hoisting long-twos to shoot you out of a game. By his fourth season, any reasonable observer of the Raptors had given up any hope of Bargnani developing into an All-Star player, let alone a superstar. The calls to shift his role from a designated starter to a bench performer grew louder, but fell on the deaf ears of Colangelo, who played puppet-master to Jay Triano’s show. Nothing good came of Triano’s tenure in Toronto, of which the low point was Bargnani starting every single game he played in under Triano’s two full seasons, despite putting in performances that would send most players to the bench.

Throw in a thoroughly undeserved and unnecessary $50 million extension which came a full season before he was eligible for restricted free-agency, and it was no wonder the fans turned on him once the performances slid. Ultimately, it’s Bargnani’s fault for not performing despite given every opportunity to. The deeper problem here wasn’t so much Bargnani’s skill, or lack there of, it was his laziness and lack of motivation. And, of course, his management by the Raptors. Andrea Bargnani was cajoled, catered to, and spoiled by Bryan Colangelo to such a degree that he forgot what it’s like to earn a place on an NBA roster. Instead of rewarding his benefactor, he figured that whatever he was doing was just fine, since it was clearly paying dividends. If Colangelo expected the contract to motivate Bargnani, he was wrong, because post-contract Bargnani was pretty much the same as pre-contract Bargnani except with the fans on his back.

In Colangelo’s last season, with no contract in his future, he figured to make Bargnani a scapegoat by openly putting him on the block. Instead of acknowledging the real problem of mismanagement, he played the “Bargnani is not performing” card when in fact everybody but Colangelo already knew that expecting Bargnani to perform like a first overall pick was long considered unreasonable. The shift in his role and career should have been made years ago, and the man should never have been put in a position where, when he misses two consecutive shots, the fans rain down boos.

Andrea Bargnani is an NBA player, and can be a valuable one at that. He possesses enough qualities to be useful, but just like where there are players that you can afford to have a long leash with (e.g., Manu Ginobili, Zach Randolph), there are players that require a coach’s utmost attention. Andrea Bargnani is the latter. It truly is unfortunate that nobody ever got to coach Andrea Bargnani. In the end, he’ll be remembered for being a lazy player who simply didn’t love the game enough to work hard at it, and only played it because he happened to be good at it. And of course, for having filmed this terrible commercial.

Final verdict on Bargnani: he’s not as bad as he was made to look the last few years, and as much as it is his fault for not stepping up, Bryan Colangelo hurt him more than you can imagine (not financially, of course).

As for the trade, the Raptors get a protected 2016 first-round pick (Denver has swap rights), two second-round picks, Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, and whatever minor salary NY needs to add under new NBA rules. The numbers analysis along with reactionary thoughts were posted earlier, and given the great discussion in the thread, there really isn’t much to add. Focusing more on the basketball side, the Raptors depth chart stands at:

C: Valanciunas, Gray
PF: Johnson, Novak, Acy
SF: Gay, Fields/Novak
SG: DeRozan, Ross
PG: Lowry

I’ve left out Linas Kleiza who is sure to be amnestied and also Marcus Camby, who released a statement which included this remark:

“I have nothing but positive things to say about the city of Toronto and its great fans, having been drafted by the Raptors 17 years ago. Given that my goal at this point in my career is to have a shot at a championship, however, I’ll have to evaluate my options going forward. I’ve enjoyed a great career, and under the right circumstances I hope to continue making an impact in the league.”

Basically, he won’t be coming here which is fine and understandable. As for Novak – drafted 32nd in the 2006 draft – is proven an area where the Raptors wanted Bargnani to carve his niche out, once it became evident he wasn’t a superstar: three-point shooting. Novak is entirely a three-point shooter and nothing but that. In fact, 76% of the shots he’s taken in his career are threes, and last year 82% of his shots were threes. He shoots them at a career 43% rate, which is what he shot them at last year. There is no ambiguity as to what Novak is here for and he’ll never forget that. The Raptors were 26th in the league in three-point shooting (34%), so Novak is a welcome addition in that sense. Oh yeah, did I mention that 1.4% of his shots were at the rim last year, and 0% the year before?

A note on his defense from ESPN NBA insider:

Novak could always shoot, but the difference last season was that he defended competently enough to stay on the court for his offense. While he lacks strength and isn’t a guy you’d willingly put on an elite scorer, Novak rated as only a mildly below-average defensive player last season. Previously, he’d graded out as blackened toast. As long as he can get a few stops, his deadly jump shot will keep him in the league … and perhaps one of these years he can get a shot at the rim.

This essentially passes the eye-test as well: he’s not going to stand-out as a stopper but he works hard enough to justify having him in the game as a specialist.

Obviously, this isn’t the only move to come as Ujiri is looking to strengthen the point guard position, and is clearly not attached to DeMar DeRozan. The fact that we were sniffing around DeAndre Jordan suggests that Ujiri is looking to shore up the middle as well. I’d also suggest that the picks the Raptors have acquired in the Bargnani trade will be key assets this off-season as Ujiri shapes the team to his liking. What that liking is certainly to be one of a defensive kind, given that he apparently turned down David Lee for Andrea Bargnani (of course, Lee being owned $44.5M had something to do with it).

When I contemplate Gay and DeRozan’s future with the Raptors, I find myself asking the question whether these are two players that Ujiri would acquire if they weren’t already on the team. Given the type of players he’s gone after recently (Andre Iguodala, Raymond Felton, Kenneth Faried, Mbah a Moute, JaVale McGee, etc.), I have a hard time convincing myself that either are, but one has an unmovable contract and the other only an overpriced one. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I fully expect DeMar DeRozan to be moved.

Since February, the Raptors have said goodbye to Jose Calderon, Bryan Colangelo and Andrea Bargnani, three of the strongest ties to the past. This is Ujiri’s team now and in his short time here he has been able to do what Bryan Colangelo couldn’t do since December: find a suitor for Andrea Bargnani. He not only did that, but converted him into multiple assets. Regardless of how Andrea Bargnani does in New York, this is a trade that the Raptors have done very well in, because there was simply no way that Andrea Bargnani could be revitalized in Toronto.

  • Ds

    Well said.

    My only contribution to this is that Colangelo screwed the Raptors royally by holding on to the thought of Bargnani eventually becoming an all-star. I still remember his quote when asked to compare Bargnani to LeMarcus Aldridge: “Judge him after 5 years”.

    Colangelo ignored what his eyes were telling him and what the stats were showing him. Imagine the return, had he moved Bargnani 2 years ago instead of extending him.

    Colangelo’s flaws were many, but this will always stick as his worst move (or non-move).

    • onemanweave

      Getting nothing for Bosh would have to challenge it.

      • Sam Holako

        This is the worst thing BC did to this franchise.

        • Van Grungy

          No. The WORST was trading Hibbert for O’Neal

          • NyAlesund

            Right.

  • mountio

    Even though I have been a mild supporter of BC over the years .. I couldnt help but think that BC would have pulled the trigger on that David Lee deal in a split second. The NYK deal is much better for the raps .. but BC would have locked in our lack of flexibility forever by grabbing a massively over-rated Lee.
    Sometimes you need new perspective to understand how bad you had it .. and Ujiri has brought that to me vis a vis BC …

    • robertparrish00

      I am really surprised BC didn’t pull the trigger on the rumoured Amare for Bargs swap.

  • DryDry

    Starting to think that a small part of Colangelo not being able to make deals was because other GMs thought he was a dick and simply didn’t deal out of spite, as in f this guy who thinks he know it all.

  • cesco

    I am sure that BC could have got as much as Ujiri did for Andrea ( basically a first round pick likely not in the lottery and a 3 points specialist who is a worst defender than Andrea , at least Andrea was one of the best if not the best one on one defender the Raps had ) . BC wanted to get more for him . Let us see what he does in NY with an all star center and a super star winger as teammates .

    • Nilanka15

      Best one on one defender???

      I’m so not gonna miss these posts.

      • Van Grungy

        Bargs is a very good one on one defender. But he sucks so bad at help defense you forget his strength.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          No, he’s not a very good one on one defender. This is a myth people keep repeating. He’s a decent POST defender against certain types of post players. He is poor against faceup big men, and struggles against players who can put the ball on the floor. His biggest strength is that he’s long and he doesn’t fall for pump fakes. When he has to make adjustments or react then he’s at a disadvantage.

          • Van Grungy

            “struggles against players who can put the ball on the floor”
            This is true for any 7-footer, who are you kidding?

            “poor against faceup big men”
            he contests and doesn’t fall for fakes. You contradict yourself.”His biggest strength is that he’s long and he doesn’t fall for pump fakes”

            Adjustments and reactions have to do with help defense.

            Did I not say plainly, he is a very good one on one defender, but he sucks so bad at help defense you forget his strength.

            You forgot.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Bargnani struggles against other big men that put the ball on the floor. It has nothing to do with the fact he’s a seven footer and has everything to do with the fact that it requires he react to the opposing player’s offense.

              And Bargnani doesn’t fall for pumpfakes when players post him up. He stays on the floor with his feet planted. That helps when he’s guarding the post, but not when he actually is, again, required to react.

              As for your comment about adjustments and reactions having to do with help defense, I’m not sure what to say. Adjustments and reactions are required when you defend your own man all the time, so I’m not sure why you’d even suggest otherwise. Good defensive players are able to adjust and anticipate on defense, both one on one and help defense.

          • cesco

            There has been many articles saying he is a good one on one defender written by analysts which must know at least as much as you do about bball and also statistics about the % of shots the direct opponents score.which place him quite high . I would rather believe those analyses than the opinion of someone who was completely opposed to his selection in 2006 . Please do not ask me to name those articles and stats . I read them and you must have read them . I did not save or bookmarked them .

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              I’ve read some articles about his good defense, but having actually watching pretty much all his games, I am comfortable saying he is most definitely NOT a very good one-on-one defender. Those stats don’t take into consideration that he almost always defends the least productive front court player and the other Raptor defenders (especially front court defenders) would usually hedge on their own man in order to help Bargnani.

              As for me being completely opposed to his selection, it’s hard to say I was wrong about it. So maybe I know what I’m talking about a little bit.

              • ItsAboutFun

                “So maybe I know what I’m talking about a little bit.”

                As much as you love to toot your own horn, unless you you’re only speaking of the past year disaster, you’re out to lunch on both the man-to-man assignments and abilities.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  No, I’m really not.

              • NyAlesund

                Why are you still denying the Bargs’ ability to defend in 1vs1 situation?There are some articles about this supported by stats. Everyone of us see the games and this is one of the few good things Bargs has always able to do. If we want to discuss about his liabilities/deficiencies we have to see other aspects of the game.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I’ve already stated why his defensive stats are skewed. He has consistently defended the least productive front court player and the other Raptor players tend to hedge on their own men to help Bargnani. Go back and watch a some games.

                  Besides, I’m not saying Bargnani is a BAD man to man defender. He’s passable, overall. He can be a good post defender, in certain situations, but he struggles in other aspects of man to man defense. Again, you just have to watch to see that.

                  This was one reason I thought it was a ridiculous argument that Bargnani shouldn’t play center, because you’re taking away his only defensive strength, by making him defend more mobile, faceup big men.

    • Jamshid

      No way BC would have been able to get this deal done … There are no indication that BC was able to move AB.

    • theswirsky

      enjoy the Knicks forums Cesco.

      • 2damkule

        seriously. i’m guessing cesco & his ilk will show up every couple weeks during the season to let everyone know bargs had a ‘good’ game. 18 pts on 19 shots with 3 boards and a block.

        • cesco

          I am sure that if he is a failure in NY , you and your ilk will remind me he ( and BC ) were the main reasons the Raps never came close to reach the second round in the post season .

  • Marz

    Nice write up, but I think “[Colangelo] was hell-bent on justifying that decision” is exaggerating a little much. Mitchell wasn’t only fired for benching Bargnani – we were ‘underperforming’ according to Colangelo, and I believe a blow out in Denver sealed Mitchell’s fate.

    • 2damkule

      yeah, but the whole smitch firing was really just because they’d got lit up on a west coast road trip, and he (BC) was embarrassed, and wanted to point the finger elsewhere. they were 8-9 at the time, and finished waaaaaaaaaayyy worse.

  • mhm

    Pretty sure Lucas Jr is off the books.

  • Dagger

    Look, I sympathize with the perspective introduced in this article, but at what point does Bargnani have some accountability for his own improvement? Sure, he was never successfully “punished” for his defensive shortcomings, but the opposing argument was always that he couldn’t learn without playing time. Moreover, he was repeatedly informed of his weaknesses and encouraged to address them.

    Bargnani scored 11.6 PPG in his rookie season, grabbed less than 4 rebounds and shot 43% from the field. For a number 1 pick, is that the sort of success that should inspire a career of coasting? No doubt management should share the guilt, but Bargnani is quite simply a lazy, unmotivated player and he deserves whatever bad press is coming to him right now.

    • arsenalist

      I agree, and I did state that ultimately it’s his fault in the piece. At the same time, the onus lies on management to not ask of a player what he’s clearly not capable of. It should have have taken 7 years to figure out that Andrea Bargnani was not a top caliber player in the league, his role/situation should have been addressed years ago, and not allowed to linger over this team like a dark cloud.

  • Jamshid

    Can Someone please explain to me based on CBA, what Raptors have to do if Camby does not want to come to Toronto ? Do we have to pay him his full Salary ? Will that count against our Cap Space?

    I remember few years ago with alonzo Morurning , we had to pay him and he did not show up while I remember with other teams that Players were fined for not showing up and …

    • Sam Holako

      Chances are it wont get to that point. If he refuses to show, it’s possible he doesn’t get paid, but his salary will count against the cap.

      The Mourning situation was a total cluster f*ck. Babcock, traded for a guy who said he didn’t want to come here, then paid him out his FULL remaining contract to release him. He could have paid him out a fraction and let him go to Miami, but no, he shit the can big time.

      • Jamshid

        Thanks Sam … I hope we end up paying Camby nothing or just fraction of his salary. I am sick of these players not wanting to come here while getting paid millions. He could have shown up here and mentor JV but …

        • mountio

          good luck with that. While we might buy him out at discount, it will be marginal discount I would suspect (ie 80-90% of his guaranteed money at best). In the end, he is owed the money and could just show up and sit on the bench and earn it .. so I cant imagine he will accept much less (maybe a little for the flexibility to play for a contender .. but not much)

      • cd hall

        What happens if Camby retires? Does he get any $$$ ? Does his contract count against the cap? And WHY if he doesn’t report would he even receive 1 dollar?

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Camby doesn’t get any of the money and it doesn’t count against the cap. I don’t see Camby walking away from $7.5 million. Do you?

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          And if he doesn’t report, the Raptors don’t technically have to pay him, but teams rarely will do that because they want good relationships with players and agents.

          • cd hall

            Thanks Tim W.

  • J

    I’d rather worry about our big rotation as opposed to the point guard – we still need one more competent big man capable of providing 20+ minutes because, despite his play warranting the minutes, I’m not convinced that Amir Johnson’s body can hold up for the minutes he gets now. I’m not entirely sold on Acy (yet another undersized asset) and obviously Gray is the temporary glue until the young ones (can we still call Amir young?) learn how to handle the defensive post. I would be shopping any of our way-too-many wings to see what’s out there (Fields?)

    Not to say that we couldn’t use a fix in our point guard rotation, but it would require a large-scale fix. I’m not a fan of Lowry at all, but, we seem to be stuck with him and I’d rather avoid another Ford/Lowry and Calderon fiasco by just giving Lowry the starter’s minutes and finding a 15-minute guy for a back up. I dare not dream of finding a replacement for Lowry, but all the power to Masai if he can make it happen…

    • FLUXLAND

      First person I’ve seen mention Amir’s “stamina”, post last season, after he put on his first serious miles (and even then had meh nights). I do not see him replicating last year; I’m really curious to see what’s going to happen. Either way, I agree the big situation is nowhere near “problem solved”, we’re going to get abused in the pant again.

  • multipaul

    Steve Novak avgd 2.1 ppg in the playoffs..does this sound like a guy that will “win us games”? Expect more tank-driven trades to come. Ujiri is going full Wiggins.

  • Mike

    Not impressed with the haul we received for a former number one pick. Yes, Bargs has issues but when healthy he can be a factor. If MU waited after the the top free agent draws have signed i’m sure there would have been a desperate team looking for a stretch four under thirty and would have offered more.

    • Jamshid

      There is not doubt that AB could be an effective player in a right system and right environment. I am sure he will flourish in NY and will amaze some of us here in T.O. But that is not an issue. With what happened here and toxic environment that was created for AB here, he would have not succeeded.He had no place in this team and the fans were booing him and … He had lost his confidence, his support and his place here. We basically, rubbed HORSE SHIT on a our brand new Car inside and outside, exposed all its flaws and … then tried to sell in auto trader :) You will not get any value back. I am impressed the UM was able to shed some salary and get some draft picks back. He can now move Camby, Novak as well since they have a smaller contracts. I thought we have to give assets to get rid of AB’s contract at the end so hats off to UM.

      • Mike

        Horse shit would definitely devalue. After thinking this over for a second, I agree. Bargs value was at an all time low. Not his fault he was the one number pick or Casey didn’t know how to use him, his fault though for sucking and losing confidence. Note to Raptor fans: Instead of booing a player relentlessly, maybe we
        should be encouraging so they do well and perhaps up the
        value. Boo when a bone head play is made but not every time he touches
        the ball or is about to check in.

  • p00ka

    thank god we got rid of bargnani. Next up derozan, this GM is the opposite of colangelo and it is refreshing.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I altered your comment and deleted the offending word. I think most people know not to use words like that.

  • Duncan

    i really hope we can use these picks to sweeten a deal or two. but most of all i hope we waive rich and camby and amnesty kleiza and we wud have about 8 mil free. with that we could sign collison and maybe even landry. that would be the best thing we could do out of this.
    oh and i hope we keep demar :)

  • Tee

    With the amount of sub-par SGs in the NBA id be surprized if MU moved Derozan.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      That’s the best reason TO move him. If his value is inflated due to a shortage at his position, then it’s the perfect time to trade him. Especially since the team has a good SG prospect waiting in the wings.

      • Tee

        Should make for an interesting offseason.
        On your second point I dont agree,
        I believe Derozan’s defence and offence are miles ahead of Ross’.

        We shall see…

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Ross has two things over DeRozan. Ross actually has the potential, at this point, to be an above average defender (something DeRozan will never be) and he has the ability to be a good three point shooter. Plus, Ross hasn’t been given a rather large contract extension. For those reasons alone, I’d rather go with Ross.

          • Tee

            Two things over derozan?

            Well Ok- if you favour three point shooting over slashing to the basket and getting to the foul line. Then, yes ross has potential.. I prefer a more balanced game from my shooting guard instead of a perimeter focused one. I would guess one could win more games with this strategy as well.

            Free Throws are a good thing.

            As for defence I have yet to find any stats proving your theory of Ross potentially being a better defender. I have watched both of them though and I can assure you that Derozan is much better. (& I think their advanced stats are similar-if not they favour Demar)

            I also would keep Demar because he is one of the tallest SGs in the NBA.

            At the rate of demar’s improvement; if this keeps up he should be close to 20pts 5rbs and 5ast by the time hes 27.
            I would move demar but it would have to be for the right player. Back to my original point, Id be surprized if MU did trade him.

            See thats my point, They complement each other perfectly: I would keep both rather than trade one and try and replace the other. But thats why you and me are not GMs.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              In today’s NBA, you need your wing players to shoot from three and play defense. Unless he’s a supreme scorer (which he is not), then a guy like DeRozan isn’t going to help you win. At this point, he’s your typical scorer on a bad team. Yes, free throws are good, but it’s not as if DeRozan is an efficient scorer, and his lack of really everything else make me really wonder how he would fit in on a good team. He’s not good enough to be a primary scorer, but he’s not good at anything else to be a good role player.

              As for Ross vs DeRozan, Ross makes more mistakes defensively, but he’s got much better instincts now than DeRozan does. Ross has a better shot at being a good role player than DeRozan, and DeRozan simply hasn’t shown the ability to be a core player on a good team.

          • Louvens Remy

            I’m into the Raps trying Ross out at the point in Summer League games. I think it would be a good thing for him to have the ball in his hands which will help him gain some confidence, allow him to learn the offense and forces him to generate offense for himself, spreads the floor and his shooting can space the floor. I believe he may have some pretty good playmaking ability due to the way he sees the floor. With his size, length, hops and shooting ability, we may very well have ourselves a young Andre Iguodala with a vastly superior jump shot. Who knows?
            By putting him at the PG spot this may unlock his court vision and allow him to be guarded in 1 on 1 situations against smaller guards and create matchup problems at the other positions.

            At this point in his career, he should never be used as a spot up shooter. He is a rhythm shooter: off screens, pick and rolls and pull up jumpers. If he handles the ball well we would be able to use him in pick and roll situations with Val, Gay, Amir or Demar depending on where it happens on the floor. He would probably solve our 2nd guard proposition and opens up 2 positions you can play him depending on if you are going big or small. Just a suggestion. If it doesn’t work no no love lost.

      • Doug H.

        You’re referring to T. Ross I’m guessing? What exactly have you seen from him that gives you the idea he’s a “good” prospect? I’m not even sure he’s starting caliber material – I hope I’m wrong but he’s shown nothing to prove otherwise yet. Now if you’re going full tank mode then he’s the perfect starter at shooting guard and who knows, maybe he’ll develop, but frankly I saw more out of Quincy Acy than I did out of Ross.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    “Bryan Colangelo can’t be blamed for having had the vision of Andrea Bargnani as the next Dirk Nowitzki.”

    Yes. Yes, he can. Bargnani was certainly NOT the next Nowitzki, which is why I was vehemently against drafting Bargnani in the first place. Bargnani had three red flags that were clearly on display before he was drafted: Horrible defensive instincts, an aversion to rebounding and a willingness to settle for outside jumpers. Those are things that should have stopped Colangelo from drafting him.

    Colangelo completely ignored 30+ years of NBA history when he drafted Bargnani, in that Championship teams don’t tend to feature poor defensive and rebounding big men. I should have clued in then that Colangelo had no idea how to build a Championship contender.

    • Mike

      Miami Heat? No premium defensive big man there.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        No. That’s true. Good thing I didn’t say that.

        Of course, the Heat feature Chris Bosh, who is a good defensive big man and has the ability to rebound, and LeBron James, who is one of the best defensive players in the league and mostly plays PF for the Heat.

    • arsenalist

      At the time of drafting, Colangelo had a vision that Bargnani could turn into the next Dirk. I can’t blame him for it, because there is now way that at that point in a career can you tell that he’s going to be a horrible defender and rebounder. You account for some growth in your draft picks, and obviously in Bargnani’s case that didn’t happen.

      I fault Colangelo for not reevaluating Bargnani in light of new information learned about the player, not for selecting him.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        I’m pretty sure you can tell at that point in a player’s career whether they will be a poor defender and rebounder. That’s why you scout. Does a player have good defensive instincts? Does he try and make the right adjustments? Does he work hard when not on offense? Does he seem to rebound the ball when he is on the court? Those are definitely things you can see, which is why I made the prediction back then he would never even be an average defender or rebounder. Colangelo got blinded by his offensive ability (which was also flawed), and I completely blame him for that.

    • Yelaroth

      So yould you say that had we not Drafted him No.1 like you have ALWAYS suggested, he wouldve gone 2-5th? and would you have considered him a steal or a decent pick at that draft position?

      If smart managers DONT pick players exactly like him to be contenders, when IS it appropriate to pick someone of that skill level and would the Manager that picked him at, say 4th be panned on how he turned out?

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        I’m saying you don’t draft players like Bargnani. You let another team do it and deal with him. It’s simply too hard to win with big men who don’t rebound or play defense.

    • Yelaroth

      this is purely from you insinuating he should never have been No.1 pick, in regards to the draft talk

  • Ho Tep

    Colangelo signed John Salmons and traded for Tyson Chandler only to be foiled by cold feet.

    Let’s hope Ujuri has better luck waiting for paperwork.

  • rapierraptor

    We should use the 2nd round picks acquired to pry away Ekpe Udoh from Milwaukee. He doesn’t rebound as well as he should but he blocks a lot of shots and plays good defense. I really liked him at Baylor. He’s just been stuck with 2 guys (Sanders, Henson) who have identical games to him in MIL.

  • Van Grungy

    “Given that my goal at this point in my career is to have a shot at a championship”
    Eat feces you useless sack of bones

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I really don’t understand why so many Raptor fans seem to be taking what Camby said personally. He’s 39 years old and doesn’t want to play for a mediocre to bad team. That’s pretty understandable, considering most guys his age have retired from the NBA. You tend to want to spend your last days winning.

      Of course, the Knicks don’t have a shot in hell of winning a Championship, either, but at least they have a better shot at winning more games.

      • Van Grungy

        He’s 39 years old and wants a free ring.
        it’s not like Camby is actually going to play one second for a Champion.
        That makes Camby very easy to rip.
        Do you understand? He’s an old fart that wants a cake and eat it too. Maybe he should have thought about being on a winning team before thinking about making the most money he could.
        Nobody should do that bag of bones any favors.

        • mountio

          Agree 100%. It would be one thing if he was KG (ie still contributing) – but hes not nearly good enough to help any contender.

          • Bendit

            Such as our dear friend McGrady tried with the Spurs this year.

  • Van Grungy

    David Lee is worse than Bargs at playing defense. I would be royally pissed if that was the trade.

  • ad

    Good riddance to primo. Him and DD were the most overrated, mediocre players that BC refused to give up on. Just completely one dimensional players (scoring inefficiently) that did nothing else to help the team win more games. I really hope DD is the next to go. We already have a rcih mans verson of DD in gay so why do we need to keep the poor mans version of rudy? (unless were going all out for wiggins).

  • NyAlesund

    We had the worst wedding possible. Colangelo-Bargnani.

    Several mistakes from both side.

    The first and probably the big one was when Mitchel got fired. At that time Colangelo condemned Bargs protecting him. This happened because he invested his career on him and he was so blind to accept some Bargs’ deficiencies.

    If Mitchel wasn’t fired we are talking about another player, probably better.

    The second mistake was Bargs’ mentality. Terrible. He has got his money, aware to be protected, playing for the stats and nothing more. Any weaknesses are still there and the improvements were so little after 7 years.

    He had a brief great moment in which showed his potentiality but it finished after he got injured.

    The silver lining is that this story is over. Raptors with a new GM, new strategy, new goals.

    Bargs has the opportunity to redeem himself. From now on we can see what kind of player he is.

  • Brian Leung

    Vernon Wells to Anaheim parallels?

    • Nilanka15

      Wells was/is a solid player. He was just grossly overpaid.

      • Statement

        Wells is not a solid player anymore. Hasn’t been for 3 years.

        • Nilanka15

          He’s a solid player when facing the Jays, lol.

  • morgan c

    Re-posting from last thread:

    (because I want ppl to actually try to reason with me – I literally have no idea how we pulled this off)

    HOLY FUCKING SHIT HALLELUJAH THE LORD HAS COMETH!

    I mean, seriously, what the hell else can you say. No shit, if the
    Raps were able to simply unload AB for NOTHING (and not have to take on
    anything at the same time), it would have been great. But they get a
    first round pick, two second rounders, a legitimate 3 point shooting
    role player, and an old as balls but still somewhat potentially useful
    Marcus Camby (no matter what happens with him). I mean, da fuck?!

    Please, can someone explain, or attempt to explain how Uriji did
    this? This move alone, I mean, I am literally hyperventilating with
    excitement. How did he do this?

    Okay, step back and think about that haul: an old big, a useful role
    player, and THREE picks (one first rounder). That is for an all-star
    player, at worst. Again, YOU SEE THOSE CONDITIONS AND YOU THINK HOLY
    SHIT THEY GOT SOMEONE GOOD GOING THE OTHER WAY!

    but no… instead the raps get that for giving up bargnani? I just don’t understand, but lord am I happy.

    I challenge ANYONE to point out a more lopsided trade not
    involving hall of fame level players in the last 10 years. Seriously. I
    will happily admit it if one can provide an example.

    At the end of the day, even if I, like many raps fans, are maybe
    overly negative toward Bargnani, okay, but objectively, this guy is
    simply not good. Maybe not one of the worst (certainly least useful)
    players in the league, as I seriously think, but straight up bad.

    #HowDidThisHappen?!