The Bargnani Effect: How Andrea Bargnani Can Help the Nets this Season
*Photo via Getty Images
The Brooklyn Nets have had a somewhat quiet offseason this summer. The Nets weren’t short of headlines the past couple of seasons, with big acquisitions that were supposed to take the team to the next step. This time around, the tables have turned with headlines about who has left Brooklyn.
The organization made small moves in the offseason, bringing in a couple of cheap young veterans that can help the team in supporting roles. Out of those vets, I think there’s one guy that can potentially have the monster impact for the team this year; Andrea Bargnani.
With the loss of Mirza Teletović, the Nets needed a stretch big that could spread the defense and knock down threes, Bargnani can do just that. Bargnani averages over 15 points for his career, Teletović only averages seven, while both shoot about the same percentages from the three-point line (both 36 percent-ish). Bargnani takes (and makes) more threes, which will open up room for Brook Lopez in the post.
Size matters in the NBA more than maybe any other sport. Bargnani is a true seven footer who can play both big positions off the bench. In Brooklyn’s offense, he will be asked to be a corner three sniper and his ability to capitalize on these opportunities will be very important for the Nets’ offense.
This will be Bargnani’s tenth season in the NBA and the former number one overall pick hasn’t quite lived up to his draft selection during his tenure in the league. He’s a terrible defender (although he can be a decent shot blocker at times) and doesn’t rebound, despite his size. He’s also coming off a season in which he played only 29 games.
*Photo USA Today
So why would I pick him to be my guy for “biggest impact free agent?” Why would a guy who has been a huge disappointment so far in his career suddenly turn around and help the Nets? It’s the good ol’ “R and E” my friends; role and expectations.
During his first seven years in the league, Bargnani was expected to be the face of the franchise (along with Chris Bosh) for a struggling Toronto Raptors team. After all, his was their number one overall pick, selected before the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay. He spent the last two years with the New York Knicks as they tried to build a contender around Carmelo Anthony.
The Nets have no real aspirations this year than to just see what they have and build from there. Bargnani will play more of a backup role and will not be expected to do more that hit a couple of threes a game. If he can focus on doing that (without having to take 15 shots to do it), then the Nets front office, teammates, and fans, will be happy with him.
In a diminished role, Bargnani can flourish. He can play relaxed and care free, and let the shots fly. If he can hit threes in big situations, and be efficient from the floor in the process, then he can really help Brooklyn.
Here's a little hope!
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com