Marcus Camby – dead weight.
Steve Novak – one-dimensional player.
Quentin Richardson – a guy I liked because he once tried to fight Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson at the same (damn) time when they were on the Nets.
2016 first round pick – alright, this one gets a damn it.
Two second round picks – prefer to hold onto, but I won’t ever throw a stink about dealing second round picks if it’s needed.
Andrea Bargnani – former first-overall pick, attractive skill set because he’s a big with good range.
It would seem like the New York Knicks made a deal to improve their team without giving up much.
First, you have to address the question that’s looming in all of our minds: is Bargnani a good basketball player?
Well, he has some skills that SHOULD make him a good player, but they haven’t exactly translated. In Bargnani’s supposed best year, when he averaged 21 points in 2010-2011, his true shooting % was .533, which ranked 206th in the entire NBA. The Raptors scored three points better per 100 possessions with him on the court, but the defense got six points worse. He was a net negative, despite the splashy points per game average.
His best offensive season was actually 2008-2009, which translated to a miserable -6.9 net rating per 100.
During Bargnani’s entire eight-year career, Toronto has been five points worse per 100 on defense when he plays and only three points better on offense. We’re talking about a net negative for eight freaking years.
Another red flag would be Bargnani playing in only 44% of Toronto’s games the last two seasons. In fact, Bargnani has played in fewer games over the past three years than Stoudemire has. Yes, really.
Of particular issue to me, though, is the right elbow injury he dealt with last year. A player whose career three point % is .361, shot .303 from behind the arc in 238 attempts the last two seasons? This isn’t a trend I’m fond of.
Those concerns are miniscule to the potential impact he has on head coach Mike Woodson’s rotation.
People are making the mistake comparing the potential production of Bargnani to Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson and Marcus Camby – loud horn buzzer sound
Camby and Q were non-factors and Novak was eventually phased out. Bargnani has nothing to do with replacing those players. He is effecting Melo, Amar’e, Tyson, Shump and Felton (potentially J.R. and Prigs, also).
Five players on the court, 48 minutes each position, 240 total minutes available.
Carmelo Anthony – 35 minutes
Tyson Chandler – 32 minutes
Iman Shumpert – 30 minutes
Ray Felton – 35 minutes
Amar’e Stoudemire – 20 minutes (when healthy)
Andrea Bargnani – 30 minutes
With six players that’s 182 of your 240 minutes (75%). Between Tyson, STAT and Bargs, that’s 82 of your 96 minutes at center and power forward (85%). That leaves over 14 minutes without a back-up center, depending on how comfortable Woodson is leaving STAT/Bargs at the center position. This little math exploration is otherwise known as DEATH TO MELO AT THE FOUR and, most likely, the Knicks’ already mediocre defense.
We also need to add in 13 minutes for Felton’s back up at point guard, which brings us to 195.
If they re-sign J.R. Smith that’s another 30 bringing us to 225. 93% of the Knicks minutes have already been allotted. If Woodson wants to rest Tyson with a traditional back-up center, you only have two minutes left over. That’s not enough time for even one two-point-guard lineup and will make it difficult to see if they have anything in rookie Tim Hardaway Jr.
When Stoudemire eventually gets injured, that does open up another 20 minutes. This is important and during these stretches, as they’ve been the past two seasons, will be a better team when Amar’e isn’t playing.
At Woodson’s exit interview, he preached last season was a “learning curve” and there needed to be patience.
We are right back to square one for what seems like the 20th consecutive year.
The Knicks did more than just trade away three lower level NBA players. They kicked to the curb everything that made them good last year and that’s too bad. New York finally discovered its identity – it even worked, but now they are, once again, searching for a new one.