Andrea Bargnani, Toronto: Bargnani tore some ligaments in his right elbow and has been out of action since Dec. 11. The word is that the injury did not require surgery and that an extensive rehab was all that would be required to get Bargnani back. The problem with that concept is Bargnani isn’t exactly the hardest worker in the league and the expected window of sometime in January seems more like late January or early February.
League sources say it would be almost impossible to move Bargnani and the three years and $32.25 million remaining on his deal until he returns and proves the elbow isn’t going to be a problem.
It is clear that Toronto will explore moving Bargnani once he returns to action, and the hope is that return is sometime in early February so teams can get a good look at Bargnani before the February 21st NBA trade deadline.
The Raptors want to dump the salary associated with Bargnani and are not seeking much in return for Bargs. Sources close to the Raptors say they have several players they would consider taking on – a shopping list of sorts – and most of them are players radically out of Toronto’s reach unless other assets are packed in.
The Raptors have been linked to Lakers big man Pau Gasol, Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova, and Denver’s Wilson Chandler; however, Raptors sources warn taking on a ton of long-term salary is not what they are looking for in a deal unless it’s exactly the right player.