In grade 8 I remember getting a Andrea Bargnani jersey for my birthday and wearing it on the first day of school. People thought I was absurd for wanting this guys jersey. Ever since the Raptors drafted him first overall in 2005, he has been bashed and called a NBA Draft bust. Having Bargnani compared to Dirk Nowitizki was one of the only things that kept Raptors fans from losing their minds. He was horrible on the defensive end and for a seven-footer who hardly got any rebounds.
In his rookie season he averaged 11.6 points a game and 3.6 rebounds a game.
At the beginning of last season, through eight games, Bargnani was averaging 22.8 points a game and 6.4 rebounds a game.
A thing to note about Bargnani is that every year in the NBA, he has slowly but surely improved his game. New Raptors coach, defensive specialist, Dwayne Casey has challenged him to at least pick up two rebounds a quarter.
With the new coaching system in place, it will help him significantly improve his game on a daily basis.
In a relatively productive offseason, the Knicks brought in quality role players such as Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, and Ronnie Brewer to provide depth and effective minutes off the bench.
However, as the 2012 season approaches, there are still holes in the roster that require filling, one of those being who will back up forward Amare Stoudemire. With Jared Jefferies now in Portland, the power forward position for New York is looking like Stoudemire and 39-year-old Kurt Thomas.
Although Thomas has maintained a reputation of being one of the better defenders at his position throughout 17 NBA seasons, at this stage in his career, he offers next to nothing on the offensive side of the ball, and at his age, injury will always be a concern.
Enter 34-year-old, Kenyon Martin.
Still a valuable player after 12 years in the league, Martin would fit right in with the "No-Layup Rule" Knicks teams of the 90's. Tough, strong, and mean, Martin can give you 15-20 productive minutes a game with his versatility and physical play. He will go after rebounds, be a presence in the paint, and still has the ability to occasionally rise up and finish.
During his time in Atlanta, Mike Woodson undoubtedly made the Hawks better. At the end of his six year tenure he finished with the fourth-best win total in franchise history, and led them to the playoffs in three of those seasons. When Woodson received the interim head coach tag in New York, he caught the attention of the fan base by demanding an improved defensive effort, and preached "accountability", something that many felt the roster was severely lacking. He even got All-Star forward, Carmelo Anthony, to buy in and play committed defense, who in turn ended up being the main reason the Knicks were able to salvage their season.
However, when news surfaced that the Knicks were in contract talks with Woodson during their first round match-up with the Miami Heat, it felt premature. Woodson brings plenty to the table, but the Knicks would be careless to overlook his shortcomings.