Feb. 5, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) is checked by the trainer after an apparent injury on the court against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Barclays Center. Lakers won 92-83. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Andrea Bargnani: more deals to shoo him out of town

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I’ve posted three Toronto Raptors trade proposals in the past week, all of which have been rendered moot by recent events. The Boston Celtics are winning games without Rajon Rondo, and we no longer have a spare point guard to offer up anyway, so those two deals are toast. My third trade disappeared with news of Pau Gasol suffering a serious foot injury; there’s no possibility of the Raps trading for the disgruntled Lakers forward now.

February 6, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors forward-center Andrea Bargnani (7) shoots as Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) defends during the first half at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Undeterred, I’m continuing my self-appointed quest to find a new home for Andrea Bargnani. Despite a respectable return to action Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics, he’s still a misfit. However, that status carries over to other teams, as I scroll around the league looking at rosters for whom AB’s hard-to-position skills might be helpful.

Most defense-first coaches wouldn’t consider AB, so that eliminates teams like Chicago, Boston and San Antonio. It’s also difficult to imagine successful teams like Oklahoma City or Miami wanting to break up their rotation to accommodate AB. We’re left to consider squads on the playoff bubble who need some instant offense (c’mon guys, AB can certainly provide that much) or losing teams wanting to shake up their disappointing rosters.

As always, any deal in this column “works” according to ESPN’s trade machine. We could trade AB for Kris Humphries of the Brooklyn Nets – anyone want Hump back? He’s a one-dimensional player who’s fallen out of favour in Brooklyn. It’s hard to see how this deal helps us.

Paul Millsap of the Utah Jazz is frequently mentioned as a trade candidate because of the clogged front court there, and his expiring contract. I doubt Jazz management could be enticed, but I’d certainly make the call if I were BC. How about Chuck Hayes and Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings? By all accounts, the Kings are closed to any transactions until their sale (and move?) status is finalized. Too bad; it’s probably a win for the Raps.

Here’s a perfect trade – the Atlanta Hawks trade us Zaza Pachulia and Anthony Morrow for AB.  Why is it perfect? Because the Machine says the deal has no win-loss impact for either team! Of course, a reasonable person would ask: then why bother?

Feb 5, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward David West (21) plays defense against the Atlanta Hawks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Atlanta 114-103. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers could trade us David West straight-up, which they would only do if they were convinced West wouldn’t re-sign with them after this season. West’s PER is 20.2, while Andrea languishes at 12.8; the Machine projects a huge (+6 vs. -7) win for the Raps.

There you go – a lot of deals can be made for AB and his not unreasonable contract. Whether they should be, or will be, is an entirely different matter.

Let’s end where we started. I predict Pau Gasol is traded to the Raps for AB and Landry Fields – in the off-season.

We want to hear from you. Do you like any of these trades? Should we keep Andrea after all? Please drop a comment, and we’ll chat.

Brian Boake is co-editor of Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

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