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Toronto Raptors Offseason Player Evaluations: Andrea Bargnani

Adam Francis is not a believer in Andrea Bargnani. He's also not a believer in The Knife, the Decemberists, and various other musical acts adored by

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Name: Andrea Bargnani

2012-13 Key Statistics: 35 games played, 28.7 minutes per game, 12.7 points, 39.9% from the field, 30.9% from three-point-range, 3.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.7 blocks, 11.2 PER.

Comparison: Pitchfork Reviews

It was the summer of 2006.

I remember it quite clearly.

One of my best friends had told me about a slew of new music releases to check out, including the critically acclaimed band, "The Knife," and their latest release, "Silent Shout."

"Pitchfork gave it an 8.6 so it should be pretty solid!" he exclaimed.

Aaaah Pitchfork.

At that time, I wasn't too familiar with the website. I knew it was a site dedicated to music, particularly of the "indie" variety, but that's about as far as I got. Many of my friends swore on it as the go-to bible for all things music, so if an album received critical praise from the site, hey, it had to be a sure thing right?

However I wasn't exactly a fan of "The Knife" after a few listens.

In fact, the more I listened to it, the more I hated it.

But how could this be? After all, in the review that garnered the 8.6 out of 10 mark, Pitchfork had noted:

An early contender for best record of the quarter, here's hoping Silent Shout inspires similar imagination and pushing outwards; after all, no matter how heady and interior electronic music allows itself to become, it could never get as scary as the world outside.

So how I could I...


What the hell does that even mean?

Similarly, reviews for other critically lauded albums around that time, Grizzly Bear, Destroyer, Matmos, all met a similar fate as The Knife when placed into my CD player (hey, it was 2006, the iPod didn't find its way into my clutches until 2007.) Not only did I not enjoy the bulk of these albums, but I also started to become increasingly annoyed with Pitchfork's seemingly never-ending determination to present more and more obscure and abstract sonics, as if they were the second coming of Revolver or Pet Sounds.

Sure there were moments when our respective musical tastes were aligned. But through the years these became increasingly few and far between to the point that I eventually just gave up on them, tired of trying to sort through passages like the following, hoping to discern some idea of whether or not the reviewer enjoyed the album, or just wanted to hear him/herself pontificate about the meaning of life:

Actually, to be honest, that temptation remains. Khan's aesthetic is such a perfectly struck balancing act between earth mother hippie mystic and post-modern Gen Y art student (see: the cover for her latest single "Daniel", which depicts her on a beach, shivery and windswept, with a painting of The Karate Kid's Daniel LaRusso adorning her entire naked back) that it's difficult to forget about the sheer workaday craft that must go into constantly seeming so effortlessly, artfully rumpled.

In a similar fashion I gave up a long time ago on Andrea Bargnani.

I wanted to believe. Hell, I even penned this amidst his now-infamous 14-game flurry of intriguing play during the 2011-12 season.

But from the moment he was drafted to be the team's center of the future I had my doubts (although it should be noted that I wanted the team to choose Tyrus Thomas), and those only grew to the point where after three seasons, I preferred the team dealt him while he still appeared to have some upside.

However as we know, the opposite occurred, the team extended him once, and now is stuck with what could be an immovable piece. Bargnani is perhaps the biggest reason Bryan Colangelo's attempts at team building were unsuccessful, and now somehow new GM Masai Ujiri has to figure out a way to get some value in exchange for the one known as "Il Mago," or else it's likely on to Plan B - the Amnesty Clause.

And I'd be fine with that.

It's certainly not ideal, but at some point you simply make a decision; whether it's refusing to believe friends' gushings over a certain music website's fascination for Sufjan Stevens, or refusing to believe an organization's support for a big man who plays like he's eight inches shorter than he is.

I don't need to tell you the team was a -5.4 with Bargs on the court last season compared to only -0.1 with him off, or that he's a net minus a million over his Raptors' career.

You know all of that and likely much more and even the most ardent Bargnani fans would have to admit that it's time for a change. (And not along the lines of the Alvin Williams severance news of this AM.)

As noted, we'll see if that comes to fruition via a trade, or simply the swinging of the amnesty axe, but in any event, this off-season evaluation ends like this:

Andrea Bargnani - 1.2.