Many New York Knicks fans cringed when the team decided not to re-sign Chris Copeland and instead went out and traded for Andrea Bargnani, who the Toronto Raptors desperately wanted to get rid of. However, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson believes that a fresh start is exactly what the Italian big man needs.
“I don’t knock anybody’s camp and what they’re doing,’’ Woodson said Wednesday before the Knicks summer league practice at UNLV. “Fact he was available was good enough for me. I thought Bargnani has the opportunity to get back on his game with us. I’ll put him in the best position I can to see that happens in terms of him being successful in helping us win.
“Players go through ups and downs,’’ Woodson added. “That’s behind him. It’s a new slate in terms of him being in a Knick uniform.’’
“I’m very excited about it,’’ Woodson said. “He’s a talented kid who has some good years in the league in the early stage of his career. He fits everything of what I’m about in how we play and style of play. He’s a 7-foot guy who can do a lot of things – he can post, shoot from the perimeter, put it down. He’s got to get better in rebounding the ball.’
It’s possible that Bargnani could bounce back and get his career back on track, but it’s still a very risky move on the Knicks part. Bargnani’s 3-point shooting has progressively gotten worse, which is the biggest strength of his game. With an isolation heavy offense led by the likes of Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith, Bargnani will only get limited looks offensively, so perhaps that could help boost his efficiency.