Deep breath. The wait is finally over. Andrea Bargnani, one of the major setbacks of the Bryan Colangelo era has finally been dealt to a new team.
Hard to imagine, given that just a few months ago, Bargnani’s trade value had plummeted to rock bottom. It could literally not get any lower than it was. Or so we thought…
However, somehow, some way, Masai Ujiri made it work, and got rid of the player that Raptor fans wanted out of Toronto.
Lots of credit needs to be given to Ujiri for this move. Not only did he move Bargnani without taking back any massive contracts in return (such as the rumoured Carlos Boozer deal at this past year’s trade deadline), but also managed to steal three draft picks from the Knicks in the process. Well done Mr. Ujiri.
Now, on the surface it looks as if the Raptors did take back some decent sized contracts in Novak, Camby and Richardson.
However, only one year of Richardson is guaranteed, and the Raptors have the option to buyout Camby for much less than his contract is actually worth. Since he’s also at the point of his career where he wants to play for a contender, it’s more than likely that he would welcome some sort of buyout. So, really, it was a Bargnani for Novak and picks trade, which is still a great deal for the Raptors.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write something positive about the Raptors. But, this is definitely a big positive for a team looking to completely change the identity of the team.
Now with the former General Manager Bryan Colangelo gone, and his former right hand man Bargnani out of Toronto for good, the team is finally given itself a new identity in less than a month.
If this is what we can come to expect with the Masai Ujiri era in Toronto, then we’re all in for a treat. I hope that Ujiri has what it takes to continue to make trades like this, because this certainly shouldn’t be the last major trade that he makes this offseason, if you know what I mean.
One down, many more to go (hopefully).