Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Raptors have announced that forward Andrea Bargnani will not return for the remainder of the 2012-13 NBA season.
And that's it.
From the Raptors' PR crew a few minutes ago:
The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday that forward Andrea Bargnani is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the 2012-13 season with an avulsion sprain of the right elbow. This injury is not related to his previous right elbow injury that sidelined him for 26 games (December 12 - February 3).
Bargnani left at the 3:08 mark in the first quarter March 8 against the Los Angeles Lakers and did not return. He appeared in 14 of 15 games prior to this injury, including four straight starts (March 2-8).
Considering his play over those last 14 games, and his season to date, the fact that Toronto is shutting him down is not a giant surprise. There was an idea that the team would look to play him major minutes (he was even re-inserted into the starting line-up) to try and increase his trade value for next season, but that was proving to be very difficult task. His play was likely hurting whatever little stock he had left, so the alternative, keeping him out for the duration of the season, was hardly a big risk.
Of course the real issue though is what the heck the team does with him going forward.
His trade value is at an all-time low, and while going the amnesty route is certainly an option, it will be an extremely bitter pill for Bryan Colangelo to swallow.
And that's assuming BC's even around to make the call.
If he's not, I could certainly see the Dinos amnestying the Primo Pasta spokesman, just to clear the slate.
However as the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat just noted, while it's possible Bargnani's match versus the Lakers will have been his last with Toronto, the club may need to get him back into action again next season to remind NBA GM's that he can still dribble a basketball.