ESPN.com is reporting that the Raptors have had talks with the Lakers about, gasp, trading Andrea Bargnani...
Could it be?
Is it possible?
(Yep, all those crazy fans who kept throwing this rumour around, guess they were onto something?)
Now there's nothing official here, but from Stein's ESPN piece:
Stretch power forward Andrea Bargnani, veteran point guard Jose Calderon and fellow vet Linas Kleiza are among the players, sources say, whom the Raptors have discussed making available to the Lakers in a deal for Gasol.
OH HAPPY DAY!
Indeed from this report it would seem like Raptors' President and GM Bryan Colangelo is indeed open to moving his prized pupil, former first-overall pick Bargnani, potentially ending the "now seven years old Andrea Bargnani hostage situation."
The Lakers ain't having it.
Regardless of how you feel about acquiring Gasol, the key piece here is that finally it sounds like Colangelo is open to moving the Italian big man. Sure, it's about three years too late, but hey, better late than never?
Over at SB Nation's LA Laker Blog, Silver Screen and Roll, they agree with the Lakers "no thanks to Andrea" stance, and from Stein's report, it sounds like the Lake Show's main target is New Orleans stretch four Ryan Anderson.
Which makes you laugh doesn't it?
So the Lakers want a "stretch four," but not Andrea, because hey guess what? They'd rather have a "stretch four" who can rebound and defend!!
It's a shocking conclusion but one that again hammers home the point I've been trying to make for years; Andrea simply isn't good enough in his areas of strength (namely, scoring) to make up for how poor he is in other areas. To win with Andrea, you need a very specific cast of players around him and even then, he's not consistent enough from game to game to make you believe such a team composition would be a success.
The scary thing is that of all the teams that might be able to make Andrea, I'd have to put the Lakers in the top two or three spots. Dwight Howard is the perfect defensive complement for him, and head coach Mike D'Antoni might be able to unleash enough offence from him to end up being a net plus for the team. So the fact that based on Stein's report, they're willing to pass, likely gives us a pretty good indication of his value league-wide.
The silver lining here is that hopefully the report rings true and BC is finally taking the blinders off, but for at least the immediate future, it sounds like the club is still stuck with Bargs.