Knicks believe healthy Andrea Bargnani will return to form with move from Toronto to New York

  • Article by: BRIAN MAHONEY , AP Basketball Writer
  • Updated: July 11, 2013 - 12:10 PM

NEW YORK — The New York Knicks believe a new home will help Andrea Bargnani regain his old form.

The Knicks acquired the former No. 1 overall pick from Toronto, hoping he can rally from a poor 2012-13 season and help them remain among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Bargnani battled an elbow injury last season and his scoring average dropped to just 12.7 points in 35 games in what was his worst season since his second year in the league. But the Knicks sent three players and three draft picks to the Raptors, counting on Bargnani's outside shooting and hoping for improvement in his rebounding and defense.

"I think the opportunity here of a fresh start in New York — and he's very excited about that opportunity — will lend to him getting back on track to being the player that we all hoped he would be," Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said Thursday during a conference call.

Bargnani was the top pick in 2006 and just three seasons ago averaged a career-best 21.4 points. But the Raptors made the playoffs only once since drafting him and were eager to rid themselves of the two years and about $22.2 million remaining on his contract.

The 7-footer from Rome shot less than 40 percent last season and his 3-point shooting has hovered around 30 percent for the last two years. He said that's because of his injuries, including a sprained right elbow last season.

"Last years were tough for me because I had so many injuries," Bargnani said. "I wasn't really able to play continuously during the season and that really affects your rhythm and your shape.

"I missed like more than half of the season, so it was definitely a huge factor in my last year's season. It wasn't a major injury, but it was very tricky and it forced me to stay sidelined for many games. So it was really bad."

He said he is healthy now and will play this summer for Italy in the European championships.

The Knicks also announced the re-signing of J.R. Smith, the Sixth Man of the Year last season. They previously re-signed guard Pablo Prigioni but are losing Chris Copeland, who accepted an offer from Indiana that they couldn't match.

That leaves them with plenty of work to do to avoid falling back after a 54-win season in 2012-13 and their first Atlantic Division title since 1994. Grunwald said they have only 10 players under contract and are hoping to bring in a third point guard and some depth in the front court.

Kenyon Martin is being considered for the latter after playing well for the Knicks after joining them late last season.

"We're evaluating our options in that regard and certainly Kenyon is getting our full consideration as we look at all the options we have," Grunwald said.

For now, they have little more than the deal for Bargnani, which sent forwards Steve Novak and Quentin Richardson, and center Marcus Camby to Toronto. The Knicks also sent the Raptors a 2016 first-round draft pick and second-round selections in 2014 and 2017.

That may be a lot to give up for a player who has averaged just 4.8 rebounds for his career. But the Knicks believe his offensive skills — he scored a career-high 41 points at Madison Square Garden in 2010 — will fit nicely with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.

"We think that will cause other teams difficulties as they try to match up with us," Grunwald said.

Fans in Toronto turned on Bargnani toward the end, and he said he understood given the team's struggles. Now he stands as the big move for a Knicks team that watched the neighboring Nets potentially blow past them with their acquisitions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston.

With few options left for any more upgrades, the Knicks need this move to pay off with teams all around them improving after New York finished second in the East and reached the second round for the first time in 13 years.

"We wanted to again take another step forward this year and we felt that Andrea was a step forward for us, and not withstanding what other teams do, we have to get better," Grunwald said. "We made a big step forward last season, but obviously we're not satisfied."

"We wanted to again take another step forward this year and we felt that Andrea was a step forward for us, and not withstanding what other teams do, we have to get better," Grunwald said. "We made a big step forward last season, but obviously we're not satisfied."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington - LP: D. Fister 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 8
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1
Boston - LP: T. Layne 2 FINAL
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 5
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 8 FINAL
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: Z. Wheeler 2
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Latos 7
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: H. Noesi 3
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 6
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 5 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 4
Milwaukee - LP: Z. Duke 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: D. Thayer 3
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 3 FINAL
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 1
Miami - LP: H. Alvarez 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: H. Santiago 6
Colorado - LP: J. Nicasio 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: S. Casilla 4
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close