Fox Sports Ohio is reporting that the Toronto Raptors have engaged the Philadelphia 76ers in talks regarding forward Andrea Bargnani...
Ok so first it was the Chicago Bulls.
• The Raptors have also engaged the Sixers in conversations centered on Bargnani, sources said. No word on what the Sixers would need to offer in return, although a Western Conference executive suspects it would involve center Spencer Hawes.
Again, there's been no confirmation of this, and very little discussion so far even in the blogosphere, but indeed it sounds like Toronto continues to look for a landing spot for the much-maligned former number one overall pick
However there are a number of problems with a Bargs for Hawes swap.
For starters, additional salary would have to be sent Toronto's way to make this deal work financially as Hawes is set to make $6.5M this season and Bargs, about $10M.
In addition, it's hard to see how this deal makes much sense for Philly, as they'd be taking on an extra year of salary, (Bargs has two years left on his deal after this one, Hawes only one) and in absence of Andrew Bynum, Bargnani doesn't really do much to prop up the Sixers' playoff hopes.
That being said, as Michael Levin of Liberty Ballers lays out, if Bynum does return to full strength, the idea of Andrea being a "stretch four" next to the Sixers bowling champ, is intriguing, so it likely depends what the full deal would constitute, in terms of Philly fans being a-ok with it.
On the Raptors side of things, they may be looking to kill two birds with one stone here by moving Bargs for another big (Hawes) and perhaps a back-up point guard. A trade of Bargnani for Hawes and guard Royal Ivey works based on the NBA's trade rules, and with Hamed Haddadi still in limbo, and possibly a buy-out candidate, the trade makes sense numbers wise.
However if indeed such a transaction takes place, it's hard to get too excited. Hawes has had many of the same flaws as Bargnani as a player in terms of being an underwhelming rebounder and defender despite his size and skilll-set. So far this season he's averaging 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds, slightly above his career averages, but his PER dropped from a solid mark of 18 last seaosn, to the league average of 15 through 51 games this campaign.
If indeed this transaction takes place we'll obviously have more analysis but at face value, this is essentially the opposite type of transaction to the rumoured Carlos Boozer situation. Whereas with Boozer the Raptors would be sacrificing long-term financial flexibility for an upgrade in talent, the Hawes trade would at best keep the talent situation even, but cut down on Toronto's future financial commitments.