Andrea Bargnani: Nets expected to buy out center

Andrea Bargnani: Nets expected to buy out center
Andrea Bargnani (center) may be seeing his last days with the Nets. (AP)
Andrea Bargnani (center) may be seeing his last days with the Nets. (AP)

If the Nets hire Bryan Colangelo, his first act as general manager may be to undo the biggest mistake in his last tenure.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports that the Nets are expected to buy out Andrea Bargnani from his contract this week if the Nets are unable to trade him by Thursday’s 3 P.M. deadline:

Several players almost assuredly who’ll get bought out and become free agents if they are not traded this week, leagues sources said, include Boston’s David Lee, Denver’s JJ Hickson and Brooklyn’s Andrea Bargnani.

Bargnani has played in 46 of a possible 54 games this season, averaging 6.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game. His playing time dwindled heading into the All-Star Break, even as fellow center Willie Reed missed a few games; outside of the brief and wild moments in which he hit numerous mid-range shots, Bargnani’s time on the floor has been a strong negative. The backup center has the team’s worst on-court/off-court differential of any Nets player, and per Nylon Calculus’s figures, ranks as the worst rim protector in the league.

Bargnani, a former #1 overall pick selected by Colangelo in the 2006 NBA Draft, earns $1.5 million this season with a player option for $1.5 million next season. The Nets could structure a “stretch” buyout, similar to Deron Williams’s buyout back in July, which would stretch the cap hit beyond this season.

Before the season, our exact words on Bargnani:

There is not a single metric that justifies signing Andrea Bargnani to an NBA contract. He is a seven-foot center who does not defend or rebound at an NBA level. He is a stretch five that has hit well below the league average from three-point range in the last four seasons. It’s hard to tell what’s more laughable, his defensive rating (worst on last year’s lowly Knicks), or the GIFs that show it.

Technically, Bargnani would need to be bought out by March 1 to be eligible for another team’s playoff roster. But finding a playoff team to take a flyer on a center who can’t crack the rotation of a 14-40 team is hard enough without this video.

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