Kobe Bryant for Andrea Bargnani is not a fair trade. Not even in Italy.
But it seems to be what has happened — with Kobe out of the picture (save for maybe a “Kobe Cup” tour) it appears Virtus Roma (not the team after Kobe) is close to signing the Raptors forward, according to La Stampa, via Hoopshype.
Bargnani would get about $2 million if he plays the rest of the season in Rome. Bargnani has four years, $41.5 million left on his NBA deal (which the Raptors would be happy to trade if anyone is interested… anyone… hello… Bueller, Bueller).
The insurance issues have been dealt with and they have found a sponsor in AshleyMadison.com (the “dating” site for married people looking to have a fling). Which seems appropriate somehow with Bargnani essentially having a fling in Rome while the NBA cannot give him the satisfaction of games.
Bargnani can shoot the rock and gave the Raptors 21.4 points per game last season. But he’s not terribly efficient, isn’t a great rebounder and is a disinterested defender. Maybe he can find a better fit in a European system.
But he’s no Kobe Bryant.