Andrea Bargnani and the Brooklyn Nets have started negotiating a buyout, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. The seven-foot center has been firmly rooted to the bench since the debut of rookie Chris McCullough and, with the Nets finally looking towards the future, is unlikely to regain his spot in the rotation. A few days before the trade deadline, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski briefly mentioned the possibility of a buyout, but, other than a report that the Nets’ request for a second-rounder in return for Bargnani was met with “disdain,” there hadn’t been any movement on the issue.
Bargnani owns the Nets’ worst on-off court differential and did not play against his former team last night due to an illness. In 46 games, Bargnani is averaging just 6.6 points and 2.1 rebounds. Of course, he has a player option for 2016-2017, so getting bought out now might suggest that Bargnani thinks a playoff team might have room for him down the stretch.
March 1st is the deadline for any bought out players to be eligible for the playoffs with another team.
Update: 5:10PM: The Nets and Sean Marks have announced that they’ve agreed to buyout terms with Andrea Bargnani. The roster now sits at 14 players.