Dec 10, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani (77) drives to the basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Andrea Bargnani: Which Team Got Best Deal?

As James Dolan sits in his office, paranoid that people think he was taken advantage of in the Andrea Bargnani trade, clearly he got the best of this trade but is to naive to realize it.

The facts are simple: without Bargnani, what would the New York Knicks have done during Tyson Chandler’s absence? With Woodson failing to utilize Cole Aldrich who contributed to a better Memphis Grizzlies team last year,  Bargnani played center. This actually helped Woodson, as prior, he had trouble finding a place for him.  During this time, Bargnani seemed to be the second scorer the Knicks need to support Carmelo Anthony as J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton all had a poor start to the season.

Dec 10, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland won 109-94. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

So what did the Knicks give up? Steve Novak, whose further down the bench in Toronto than he ever was in New York.Marcus Camby (which was a worse trade) who is hurt again and probably out for the season.  Two second round draft picks and a first round draft pick in 2016.

Facts are you can buy second round draft picks and second rounders rarely make it on the Knicks roster.  Now, compound that with Woodson hating to play rookies, and there is literally no loss there.

So, in reality, the future first round pick in 2016 is the question.  Again, Bargnani was the number 1 overall pick in the draft.  When played properly, he can score.  When former GM Glen Grunwald made the trade, following a 54-win season, he never expected this pick to be a lottery pick.  So Bargnani now, for a 2016 pick.  It was a good trade, a trade that favored Knicks.  Now they should give up their 2020 pick and pick up Kylie Lowry to hopefully save the season.

Pat Riley has built what many consider a dynasty in Miami.  When looking at his roster, Riley rarely keeps first round picks and utilizes them wisely in trades.  He plays to win now, not later; the Knicks waited two years for LeBron James.Donnie Walsh dismantled the Knicks roster on hope.  Hope doesn’t win games. Riley understands the veteran presence and their impact on the roster and in the lockeroom.

Bargnani, coming off a dumb play the other night, accepted it like a man.  He offered no excuses, didn’t blame the coach for not calling the play, he made a mistake.  As Jeff Van Gundy said, ” Mistakes happen in the NBA every night… you don’t fire a coach or trade a player over a mistake” .

Bargnani has proven to be a great acquisition, if used properly he can add a scoring dimension to the Knicks.  Now it is up to Woodson to find a way to utilize him properly.  The other night, he brought him off the bench, I ask why?  In prior games he worked well with Carmello, he scored better early in games versus late, he contribute offense.  Small ball does not work, just look at the record if you don’t believe me.  You start J. R. Smith who shoots a record 17 three pointers? Woodson should start Bargnani, and bring Smith off the bench and see who he plays.  When he is off he should give Hardaway more minutes unless he wants to hurt his confidence as he has Shumpert’s. Bargnani, although not a star, is a good piece to the puzzle, he plays with heart, if not head, it was a good trade.

Dr. Eric Kaplan is a best selling author

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Tags: Andrea Bargnani Andrea Bargnani Trade New York Knicks

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