NBA Trade Rumors: Andrea Bargnani now likely to stay with the Toronto Raptors?

Dec 5, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors center Andrea Bargnani (7) looks to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during the first quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Since Bargnani’s role has has now been deemed “changed,” it’s looking more and more likely that he’s going to stay with the Toronto Raptors past the deadline and potentially through next season. With the Raps apparently wiping the Carlos Boozer-for-Bargnani deal off the table from last week, this was ultimately was a sign of their lack of urgency to deal him at all.

I understand that Bryan Colangelo’s position is to avoid just throwing away Bargnani for the sake of it, but what exactly will Bargnani’s “new” role? Will he make it back into the starting lineup and replace the ever-popular Amir Johnson, who’s been playing great? Will he be the Raptors new 6th man weapon? Do they try him at center again and shove Jonas Valanciunas back to the bench? It’s unclear as to what this changed role will be. About the only thing that is clear with the Raptors recent moves is that he will no longer be the No. 1 option (Gay), and not likely the No. 2 either (DeRozan/Lowry).

The pressure off Bargnani might be a good thing. I was definitely in the “Trade Bargnani” camp over the past few weeks, but if the expectation of him is now one with less pressure and to give the team (and possibly the bench) more versatility, then I can get behind that plan. Especially in the midst of a winning streak and playoff push in the weaker Eastern Conference.

Anything’s possible.

Article via Sam Amick, USA Today Sports can be found here.

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