Andrea Bargnani has had a reputation of being soft throughout his seven-year NBA career. That's been reflected in his never-ending propensity for long-term injuries and his desire to stay out of the lane (despite being seven feet tall, he has averaged 4.8 rebounds per game for his career). Now, it's turning even uglier as he has been working in a bench role since returning from his latest long-term injury. After Wednesday's outing (0-4 FG, zero points in 15 minutes during the Toronto Raptors' 103-92 loss the Cleveland Cavaliers), Doug Smith of the Toronto Star thinks he may be losing his teammates.
"[A]fter the dog of a game [Wednesday], he’s got to be running out of chances with everyone concerned. And that’s teammates and coaches, some of whom are starting to cast a furtive eye in his direction," Smith wrote.
"I know Bargnani is never going to be — nor was he ever — a high-intensity guy but the loafing you saw last night is simply unprofessional and unacceptable and if he starts to lose his teammates and coaches as supporters, it’s over."
What exactly "over" might mean is debatable. The Raps made no secret of their desire to trade him away during the season, but they couldn't get any decent value for him while he was sidelined. He still has more than $20 million remaining over the final two seasons of his current deal, so there likely are only a handful of teams with the requisite cap space to acquire a player with his limited skill set. If he wants out, it would behoove him to step his game up in the waning weeks of this season.