The New York Knicks have agreed to trade Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and draft picks (one of which will be the team's 2016 first-round pick) to the Toronto Raptors for Andrea Bargnani, a former top overall pick out of Italy. The deal is awaiting league approval.
Bargnani has proven himself a viable scorer in seven-career seasons in the NBA. He has dropped 15.2 points per game, shooting 36.1 percent from three and 43.7 percent from the field. At 7'0' tall, Bargnani represents a matchup problem for opposing defenses. As a big man who can shoot from deep, Bargnani is a perfect fit for a team that likes to score in transition.
The Knicks, while not a prolific transition team, are certainly amongst the better teams in the league. Throw Bargnani into the fold, and you've got yourself an improved transition offense.
General manager Glen Grunwald had been looking to get younger, and the 27-year-old center/forward certainly helps in achieving that goal. Grunwald made a great decision by acquiring Bargnani, as now he has several options moving forward this offseason.
For one, he can keep the Knicks as is and head into the season with a starting-five of Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Bargnani and Tyson Chandler. Chandler and Shumpert represent great defensive options in this group, while the remaining starters are more-than-capable of carrying the offensive load.
Another option would be to trade Chandler, insert Bargnani at center and start Amar'e Stoudmire at power forward. While a feasible route to take, head coach Mike Woodson would be in for a rude awakening when it comes to defense. Losing Chandler would be tough to swallow, but replacing his defense with Bargnani (who is not great defensively) would be even worse. This direction could actually result in more losses for the Knicks, as the offense of Bargnani would not offset the loss of Chandler.
Stoudemire also becomes expendable with Bargnani in the fold, but his knees and absurd contract make him one of the most untradeable players in the sport. For a team to take Stoudemire off the Knicks' hand, Grunwald would have to be committed to paying a large portion of his contract—something that he likely isn't willing to do.
The best choice here would be to keep both Chandler and Bargnani in the starting lineup. Stoudemire is a decent option as the team's first big man off the bench.
Losing Camby won't be that big of a deal for the Knicks, as he played just 10.4 minutes per game last season with the team. Grunwald should be able to find another reserve center for cheap via free agency. The loss of Novak could prove tough to handle.
Novak was known for hitting clutch threes with regularity, and the Knicks no longer have that type of player on the roster. Tim Hardaway, Jr. could turn himself into a shooter like that with enough experience, but his potential suggests that the Knicks may try to use him in a much larger role.
Only time will tell if the Knicks got the better end of the deal. Bargnani is under contract for two more years at $22 million, and if he plays with the Knicks beyond that will be up to his play. Keep in mind that the Knicks also lost picks in the deal, and it's obviously impossible to tell the level of talent that will be selected in the future.
Bargnani appears to make sense in the now. At the very least, Grunwald has given himself an abundance of options moving forward.
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