Nets general manager Billy King recently caught some flak after signing former no. 1 overall pick and career underperformer Andrea Bargnani to a veteran’s minimum deal with a player option. While attending Las Vegas Summer League, King spoke about the signing, saying the he expects Bargnani will have “no pressure” on him to perform.
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Here’s what King said about Bargnani, according to a video posted by the Brooklyn Nets:
We felt we needed another big, and when we started talking to them, and he was available, we like the fact that he can stretch the floor, give us three-point shooting. Lionel was saying, he probably can play with Brook, back Brook up, so it was to give us some added depth.
What we’re doing is giving him an opportunity, but it’s not costing us a lot of money to do that. And I think there’s no pressure on him. We’re not asking him to come in and be a savior. We’re asking him to come in and just play basketball, and provide the shooting and experience that he has.
We said, here you got a fresh start. This is a new opportunity. So we always try to tell players when they come in, “don’t worry about what happened, this is a new opportunity. We’re not going to judge you on your past.” This is a fresh start for him.
Bargnani, who missed 53 games last season as a member of the New York Knicks, last played a full season in 2010-11, averaging 21.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for the 22-60 Toronto Raptors. Since then, he has played an average of 37 games per season.
Brooklyn Nets — Billy King on Andrea Bargnani Signing