I know, I know. I want him gone as badly as you do. I'm just as sick of watching him loaf around the court and just as sick of the empty offence. But I don't think it's time to trade him. Not yet.

It's not a matter of untapped potential, or finding a niche or a role on the team. No, he's going to be traded at some point (or at least I pray to every god ever conceived that he will). It's about what he could bring back in a trade now versus what he could help bring back at a more opportune time. Now let me be clear here, I don't know when that time will be, or even if it happens to be right now and we simply don't know it. But unless Bargs is being traded to help bring back an all-star or a franchise player, then what's the point?

I'm sure a lot of you will reply that simply removing Bargs is addition by subtraction, and you're probably not wrong. I get the logic of just getting rid of him for whatever spare parts a team is willing to concede, and if you can get a legit player, then great. But consider that just about every time a team is forced to deal their all-star centrepiece, whether it's because they're unhappy, or likely to bolt, or their current team can't afford them, the package going the other way consists of a good but not great player and a bunch of picks and/or young players.

For Harden it was Martin.
For Deron it was Harris.
For Dwight it was Afflalo.
For Paul it was Gordon.
And so on.

Obviously there are exceptions, like Atlanta dumping Joe Johnson for cap relief, but you get the point. When trams are forced into a position of having to deal, that's what they look for: youth and a player that GMs can point to as helping to fill the void (both on the court and on the books).

For the Raptors, who likely aren't going to be bad enough to land a franchise player through the draft (this year's crop doesn't feature such a player, even if they do select first), and likely aren't going to attract one in free agency, dealing for one might be the only way. And if Bargs isn't part of the deal, then how would it get done? You presumably wouldn't want to give up DeRozan, Fields and Amir are hardly the kind of contracts a GM would want back, and Jose's cap-eating deal is gone after this year. Those are the only contracts on the books that could help facilitate a big trade, except for Andrea's. And to me, Andrea's deal is tailor-made for this kind of trade: 2 years left after this one, at a decent price for a guy that can pretend to be your first or second option while you rebuild. Most importantly, including him in any deal of this kind reduces the amount of youth you'd have to send back.

These kinds of deals often seem impossible or unlikely, but they happen all the time. Nobody saw the Harden or Deron Williams deals coming, but they happened because increasingly teams want to get something back for players they know might leave. So as unpopular as this opinion is likely to be, keeping Bargs around until an opportunity presents itself might make a lot more sense long-term than simply dumping him for whatever you can get this year. The Raps aren't going to be playing for anything significant this year or next, so there's no rush to rebuild (or at least there wouldn't be if the GM had job security).

So I say keep Bargs in the back pocket until it's time to pounce. I can put up with him for another season or two if it helps to finally bring the type of player back that you can actually build a team around.