Time Has Come for Raptors to Get Rid of Andrea Bargnani

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09:  Andrea Bargnani #7 of the Toronto Raptors calls for a foul during a 102-83 Los Angeles Clipper win at Staples Center on December 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Andrea Bargnani has outlived his usefulness for the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors have already made a splash before the trade deadline by acquiring Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies (h/t Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports).

Toronto may not be done either. Eric Koreen of the National Post tweeted out what Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo might have in mind:

Unfortunately for Colangelo, he might have to do that exact thing. Bargnani's value has never been lower. No NBA team is going to be willing to part with much considering what little Bargnani has done this year.

At this point, he simply needs to go, and if that means the Raptors don't get fair value in return, so be it.

He has reached a point of no return in Toronto. Bargnani has been a solid player, but he's never lived up to being the No. 1 overall pick.

In the future, he might make significant improvements and follow through on the potential he's shown. That's not going to happen with the Raptors.

If it hasn't happened by now with the Raptors, then it never will for Bargnani in Toronto. At 27 years old, he's not a young prospect you have to be patient with.

Bargnani has an early termination clause in his contract for 2014, but Toronto is still on the hook for $10,750,000 for next season when it comes to the center. That's an awful lot of money to pay a player as ineffective as Bargnani has been.

Ed Davis is off to Memphis, leaving the Raptors down a big man, but the Italian hurts this team more than he helps it when he's on the floor.

He's averaging 16.0 points per game, which is 3.5 points fewer than last year, and his field-goal percentage is 34 points below his career average.

The advanced statistics are even more harsh.

Bargnani's true shooting, total rebounding and effective field goal percentages are the worst of his career. That coincides with a PER that sits at 12.4. It's helpful to know that 15.0 is the baseline and signifies an average player, so Bargnani is quite a distance away from average in regard to PER.

He is having such a poor year offensively that his offensive win shares is actually at -0.2. According to that number, he's giving the opposing team a better chance to win because of his offense.

These struggles might be tolerable if Bargnani were a solid defender. Unfortunately for the Raptors, he's one of the worst defensive players on the team.

That's the problem for a player as one dimensional as Bargnani. When he can't do the one thing he's supposed to—in this case, shoot—then what good is he for your basketball team?

Bargnani has contributed very little to the Raptors this year, and coincidentally, that's what Toronto would get in return should it pull the trigger on a trade. Really, it almost does look like fair value.