Why it Works For Golden State
It will be harder quantify the Warriors’ benefit from such a trade, as the Toronto side seemingly explains itself. I will have to at least justify why having Bargnani on the team is worth more than $10 million dollars in cap room for the 2014-15 season.
The difficulty of this task is compounded with the fact that the 2014-15 season will hold one of the strongest free-agent classes in recent history. Bargnani is at his best when he can play as a stretch four, despite his seven-foot stature. He has been described as a “Poor Man’s Dirk Nowitzki,” which is accurate given his ability to shoot and pass.
Bargnani has one glaring weakness for a player of his size: rebounding. He has averaged just 4.8 rebounds per game during his seven years as a player, which is absolutely horrible for a player of his height. While we probably can’t expect him to suddenly improve his rebounding, we can expect two of the best rebounding bigs, David Lee and Andrew Bogut, to pick up the slack.
Bargnani’s sharp-shooting, however, would be a perfect fit in Golden State’s offense. He has shot 36.1 percent from beyond the arc over his seven-year career. His ability to draw defenders from the paint would create better opportunities for Stephen Curry to run the pick and roll and penetrate the paint. Let’s also factor in the immeasurable advantage to playing in a city that doesn’t view you as a constant reminder of past failures in the front office.
While acquiring another injury-prone forward might be a risky move, the upside of an efficiently-used Bargnani could outweigh the risks. Who knows, if Bargnani came to Golden State and had the season of his life and subsequently decides to test the free market in the 2014-15 season, the Warriors could see that $10 million return to their pockets.