Just so you don't think I'm piling on the Knicks — I actually liked their Andrea Bargnani trade! These last two years, he was trapped in the Amtrak bathroom of NBA situations: It was the perfect storm of "high expectations" + "lavish contract" + "limited player who could thrive in the right situation but suck in the wrong one" + "front office with no game plan" + "perenially lousy team" + "frustrated fan base" + "lots of booing" + "giant bull's-eye on the back" + "shooting slump" + "injuries" … and by the time it was over, people were congratulating new Raptors honcho Masai Ujiri for getting a protected first-rounder and two harmlessly bad contracts for the Italian Byron Mullens.
Mullens, 2012-13: 10.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 38.5% FG, 31.7% 3FG, 3.9 3FGA, 12.35 PER, $2.25 million.
Bargnani, 2012-13: 12.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 39.9% FG, 30.9 3FG, 3.5 3FGA, 11.2 PER, $10 million.
Screw it, I'm buying Bargnani stock! Stick him on the right team as a stretch 5, get his confidence going and he'll be much closer to 2009 Bargnani (15.4 PPG, 40.9% 3FG) than 2013's abomination.16 Would you ever in a million years play Bargnani and Amar'e Stoudemire together, or Bargnani at the 5 and Carmelo at the 4? No!!!! PLEASE NO!!!!! But you can play Tyson Chandler, Carmelo and Andrea Bargnani together. I think they'll be weirdly effective. (Thinking.) Crap, people are gonna throw this paragraph back in my face in five months. Dammit. Let's just move on.