With the NBA free agency period tipping off the New York Knicks jumped the gun in making a move by agreeing in principle to acquire Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors. The deal cannot become official until July 10th but once it does go through, the Knicks are making a risky move because of what they are giving up.
Knicks Acquire: PF Andrea Bargnani
Raptors Acquire: C Marcus Camby, SF Steve Novak, 2016 first round pick, 2014 second round pick (via OKC), 2017 2nd round pick
Why this makes sense for New York:
With all of Amare Stoudemire’s recent injury history, the Knicks were needing another option at power forward and don’t have any cap flexibility to fill that need in free agency. Andrea Bargnani has battled his own injuries though having only played in 66 games the past two seasons, plus he has two years left on his contract worth about $23 million. That is a lot to pay for someone who can’t stay healthy and will likely be splitting time at power forward, especially when it cost them three future draft picks.
Bargnani does add a shooter on the wing who can stretch defenses and benefit from the double teams that Carmelo Anthony will see. The former number one overall pick can also play some five if needed when the Knicks decide to go with a smaller line-up. Novak and Camby were both expendable, and New York still must add another player (most likely Pablo Prigioni, Quentin Richardson, or Earl Barron) via sign-and-trade to make the cap figures work, but giving up three future picks when the team is already low on future picks is giving up quite a bit.
Why this makes sense for Toronto:
The Raps had reportedly been shopping Andrea Bargnani for a while and new general manager Masai Ujiri didn’t waste much time in finding him a new home. The deal should save Toronto a couple million in salary cap space the next two seasons but it’s hard to see Camby or Novak playing a really significant role other than some spot minutes here and there. Novak’s sharpshooting ability will help replace Bargnani’s ability to space the floor but the 39-year old Camby’s days in the NBA are coming to an end. The big get for Toronto is the three draft picks which will serve as future assets.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Milwaukee to Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks