Barg on the NBA's All-Chuckers Team LOL wow!
Bargnani may have surpassed Boozer in the unpopularity contest. He's shooting 37 percent, his free throws have dropped off, and he has somehow regressed on the boards and as a help defender. The cries to dump Bargnani get louder with each late-game Toronto collapse, the latest of which featured Jrue Holiday blowing by Bargnani on a switch and hitting Jason Richardson for a clutch 3.
But the Raptors scored at a bottom-three rate without Bargnani last season, and a big man with legit 3-point range that can be deployed at high volumes is enormously valuable simply for floor spacing.
Which brings us back to context and defense. Bargnani's a liability on the latter front, outside of some decent one-on-one post defense, and the context is changing in Toronto. Kyle Lowry is a borderline All-Star who can penetrate the defense, and DeMar DeRozan, flashing an improved post game, can at least tread water as a no. 1 option in Lowry's injury-related absence. Jonas Valanciunas will get better down low. Bargnani's contract is amnesty-eligible, and he has two years left after this one at a relatively affordable price.
So there you have it. His name is being spoken around the league. How you like that?