Andrea Bargnani is now a free agent after being released by the Brooklyn Nets. Is the former No. 1 draft pick the big man who Mike Budenholzer wants?
It didn’t take long, but the new general manager of the Brooklyn Nets Sean Marks made his first transaction by cutting the former No. 1 overall draft pick of the 2006 NBA Draft in reserve center Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani had spent his entire 10-year NBA career in the Atlantic Division with most notably the Toronto Raptors and brief stints with both the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.
Since the Nets are going to have to eat most his 2015-16 contract, would the Atlanta Hawks take a flyer on the Italian big man? With the Atlanta Hawks not being able to sign other big name free agent big men like David Lee and Anderson Varejao, it makes Andrea Bargnani’s recent availability all that more interesting.
Though he is shooting a career-worst from three-point land this season (18.8%), Bargnani’s NBA reputation stems from his ability to shoot particularly well from distance despite being a seven footer.
While durability and frankly defensive ineptitude have derailed his once promising NBA career, for some reason Andrea Bargnani feels like a guy that could end up join the Atlanta Hawks for the final games of 2016.
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Atlanta needs to act quickly to fill a void on their roster left by backup center Tiago Splitter electing to undergo season-ending hip surgery, as a distinct inability to dominate at times on the glass may end up costing the Hawks playoff positioning and ultimately postseason success this year.
Andrea Bargnani could help the Atlanta Hawks both on the glass and stretch the floor offensively. Per 100 possessions, he’s averaged 8.4 rebounds in his NBA career and shoots at a 35.4% clip from three in his 10 years in the league.
In a way, Andrea Bargnani would essentially take on a Pero Antic type of role with the Atlanta Hawks should head coach Mike Budenholzer and general manager Wes Wilcox agree that he could end up helping out this team in the second half.
Atlanta could sign him to a veteran minimum once he clears waivers and could potentially play in some meaningful games down the stretch, as the Atlanta frontcourt rotation is in a bit of flux after Splitter’s season-ending injury. It’s not a marquee signing, but going after a veteran big man like Andrea Bargnani could prove beneficial if Budenholzer thinks that he can adjust quickly to his system in place with the Atlanta Hawks.