Right now, Phil Jackson and the Knicks are wasting a roster spot on Andrea Bargnani.
Fresh off of a 54 win season and a second round exit in the playoffs, New York was looking to add somebody to the mix to get over the hump. The general manger at the time, Glen Grunwald, though that the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, Andrea Bargnani, was ‘that guy’.
Bargnani is still ‘that guy’, you know, ‘that-guy-who’s-always-injured-wearing-street-clothes-on-the-end-of-the-bench’.
To begin his first season with the Knicks, Bargnani was certainly not great, but he certainly wasn’t bad either. Before believing that he could fly in late January of 2014, the native of Italy posted 13.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. After tearing ligaments in his elbow, Bargnani missed the final 40 games of that season.
The acquisition of former teammate, Jose Calderon, and the incentive of it being a contract year, many believed Bargnani would be invigorated entering the 2014-15 season. Boy, that thought was a misfire and then some… So far in the 2014-15 season, he has appeared in one preseason season game and two regular season games. Bargnani has suffered from little niggling injuries for the past year and he has been unable to overcome them.
Bargnani is currently earning $11 million to ride every pine possible across the country. The Knicks are rebuilding right now, Derek Fisher is trying to provide valuable minutes to the younger and inexperienced members of the Knicks. If New York were to release Bargnani it means that New York could sign a player who has potential. Someone who could turn out to be another ‘diamond in the rough’. That open roster spot could also be used to call-up and sign the Knicks 51st overall pick; Thanasis Antetokounmpo.
Unlike other Knicks in the past who have been sidle lined for extended periods, Bargnani is not a leader, he is not vocal, he is not someone whom young players look up to. Bargnani can’t, and never will, have the same impact as Kurt Thomas and Rahseed Wallace did in the 2012-13 season.
Basically, right now, Bargnani is useless and it is pointless for the Knicks to keep him on the roster. He is the definition of a bench warmer, and the highest paid one I might add. The Knicks can use his roster spot on someone who has promise and potential, not someone that’s a bonafide bust!
New York is aiming to be at least competitive next year. Dishing out minutes to an unproven player this season is more beneficial than waiting for Bargnani’s contract to expire in order to sign an inexperienced player heading into training camp.
Bargnani, its time for you to move on off of the pine.