Most New York Knicks fans know that Phil Jackson has tried to trade Andrea Bargnani this off-season. However, despite his large contract and poor injury history, Bargnani could be a very good fit in the triangle offense. Jackson believes that if he can't trade Bargnani he could be a valuable part of the offensive system.
When healthy, Andrea Bargnani can play basketball at a high level. While he's a poor team defender he's actually a fairly good on-man defender and an offensive threat. The New York Knicks have tried to trade Bargnani this off-season to clear cap space. However, if Phil Jackson can't trade him Bargnani should be able to have some real value playing in the triangle offense.
Peter Botte of the New York Daily News reports that Jackson believes Bargnani will bring value to the Knicks in the triangle offense.
"He's overlooked. We think he's going to really do well in the system we have," Jackson said of Bargnani on MSG Network during the second quarter of the Knicks' 95-72 Summer League victory over Charlotte. "We have a couple of guards he likes to play with, Jose (Calderon) and Pablo (Prigioni), and I think he's going to be a surprise and a pleasant one for our fans."
Bargnani does have value. He doesn't move like the average seven-footer and could really thrive as a center in the triangle offense. However, there's almost no way for him to live up to the $12 million owed to him in the final year of his contract.
That being said, before suffering a season-ending elbow injury Bargnani was the Knicks second leading scorer. He averaged 13.3 points in 42 games with the Knicks last season before his season ended in January, and that wasn't in Jackson's triangle offense.
The fact is, Bargnani fits this system very well. He could do well as a power forward but could really thrive as a center. The Knicks might be smart to start Amare Stoudemire at center with Bargnani backing him up.
That being said, the presence of Samuel Dalembert allows Derek Fisher to have the option of playing a big lineup with either Stoudemire or Bargnani at power forward and Carmelo Anthony at small forward.
Either way, this is the type of offense that Bargnani could really thrive in. However, that's never really been a problem for Bargnani during his career. Staying healthy has been his biggest problem.
If the Knicks can get Bargnani to play well in the first 30-or-so games Jackson needs to see if he can move the expiring contract. After all, the chances are Bargnani won't last much further past 40 games into the season. It's just not his way.
He probably has a better chance of ending next season on the bench in a suit then he does in a uniform. Just another reason why Jackson talking Bargnani up publicly is wise. Perception is everything. In sports, perception determines contract value.
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