No NBA player has been mentioned in more trade rumors in recent days than Andrea Bargnani.
The Toronto Raptors have reportedly spoken with numerous teams about the possibility of dealing the former No.1 overall pick. They have until Thursday, Feb. 21 to make a trade.
Bargnani’s career with the Raptors has been viewed as somewhat of a disappointment. In six and a half years, he has failed to live up to the high expectations of a No. 1 overall pick. He was taken ahead of players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo, who have had much more productive careers.
Even though Bargnani has underperformed in Toronto, there are teams that could benefit from acquiring him. When healthy, he’s a good three-point shooter and is one of the dwindling numbers of current players that stand at seven-feet tall.
According to Doug Smith of the Toronto Sun, there’s a good chance the Raptors won’t be able to trade the big man until the summer. However, the Raptors would like to unload him this week, if they can find a taker.
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The most recent team that has been linked to Bargnani is the Philadelphia 76ers. Sam Amico of FOX Sports reported this weekend that Philadelphia has talked to Toronto about the possibility of acquiring Bargnani. A deal would likely involve Spencer Hawes being sent across the border.
Hawes is under contract for one more year after this season, while Bargnani is owed $22 million over the next two. The 76ers center would give the Raptors an inside presence that they are looking for. However, Toronto may be looking to get more in return for a player that was once the No.1 overall pick in the draft.
The Charlotte Bobcats have also shown an interest in Bargnani. The club is looking to move Ben Gordon by the deadline, and was tied to a report involving the Brooklyn Nets last week.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Toronto might be intrigued by the fact that Gordon has just one year remaining on his deal. Still, with not much of a need at shooting guard, the Raptors are unlikely to pull the trigger on such a deal.
The most likely destination for Bargnani might be the Chicago Bulls. The two teams have discussed a potential trade, and the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bulls have told the Raptors they are ready to send them Carlos Boozer. The proposed deal would send Boozer and Nate Robinson to Toronto for Bargnani and John Lucas III.
Boozer is the best player that has been reportedly offered to the Raptors in exchange for Boozer. The power forward is averaging 15.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this season. He’s picked up his game in 2013, averaging a double-double for the entire month of January.
The biggest concern for the Raptors is Boozer’s contract. The 31-year-old is owed over $32 million in the next two seasons.
This season, Bargnani has missed more than half of the Raptors games because of injury. He’s averaging 14.8 points on less than 41 percent shooting from the field.
Toronto is six games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.