Andrea Bargnani had a 25-point, 12-rebound game a couple weeks ago. He has scored 21 and 25 points in his last two contests.
As his five-year, $50 million contract is set to expire, Bargnani is on track to fool another team into overpaying him.
And that team might just be Phil Jackson’s Knicks.
According to an NBA source, Jackson still is a fan and has interest in bringing Bargnani back for the right price because of his length, post defense and ability to score and pass in the structured system.
Bargnani is loathed almost entirely because of his salary. If he were paid significantly less – “the right price,” if you will – fans would be much more praiseworthy. Bargnani, in the right environment, can help a team.
But his length means little when he doesn’t use it to rebound or defend. His scoring, outside this season’s 12-game sample, has been inefficient and too perimeter-oriented.
The odds are against whichever team offers Bargnani the biggest contract this summer getting good value on it.
Just because he’s on a hot streak of making mid-range jumpers does not mean he has turned the corner at age 29. Bargnani is likely to regress to the mean. The only question is whether it happens before or after he signs his next contract.
I also love the idea that Bargnani can be salvaged by Jackson, but Tyson Chandler cannot.