The Knicks traded Steve Novak and a 1st round pick for Andrea Bargnani this off-season, and the moves turned some heads. Certainly confusing, the question of what the former number 1 pick can give New York looms large. Well, Mike Woodson and Carmelo Anthony seem to think he can be huge for them, via Newsday:
After Andrea Bargnani’s first practice with the Knicks, Woodson said he thinks he can bring the best out of the former first overall pick. But Woodson wouldn’t say acquiring Bargnani from Toronto had any correlation to the health of Stoudemire, who had a knee procedure over the summer.
“I don’t think you can pass up on a piece like that,” Woodson said after the Knicks opened camp Tuesday. “Bargnani, he’s one of those, I think, gifted players that I think I can reach. And in reaching him, hopefully he can return it and help our team win basketball games and perhaps a title because I think he’s good enough to help us.”
Woodson will have to get Bargnani to rebound, and defend well in order for this to work. He has been very underwhelming, and that’s why some are labeling him a bust. As for Melo? He’s on board as well:
“Ain’t no pressure on him,” Anthony said. “You come here and do what you do, play ball. All the pressure’s on me. It should be easy for him. It should be an easy transition and adjustment for him. He just has to come here, play basketball, do what he’s got to do and do it the right way.
“I’m looking forward to getting up and down the court with Bargnani. I know his capabilities. I know what he’s about. I know what he can do. And for me, it helps me out a lot now to have another stretch four that can stretch the court, that can shoot, that create off the dribbles, create for him, create for others. It’s another weapon we have.”
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, but Bargnani needs to be more of a complete player to find a solid spot in the rotation. Mike Woodson has a lot riding on him this year, so he better hope Bargnani can improve.