Andrea Bargnani Looking for a Way Out of Toronto?

by May 25, 2011

Andrea Bargnani tells an Italian media outlet that he’d like to play somewhere warmer, and that he isn’t a big fan of the Raptors’ GM (who just inked a long-term deal. Whoops!) From the Toronto Star: “Asked in a feature interview where he’d like to play if he could rub a magic lamp and transport himself to another NBA city, Bargnani told Italy’s Sky Sports: ‘I want to stay in Toronto, at least this is the politically correct answer. If (I am) to go somewhere else, I’d like a warm climate city and a team where I can actually play in my role.’ Bargnani spoke those sentiments in Italian; the translation was provided by a trusted source, fluent in both Italian and English, and confirmed as accurate by the journalist who conducted the interview, Alessandro Mamoli. In the wake of a season in which the Raptors quietly opened the door to the possibility of trading Bargnani, perhaps Bargnani can be forgiven for musing about the idea of leaving town. Still, blue-skying sunnier climes, no matter the intention, isn’t exactly a recipe for Hogtown popularity. And exactly where the shot-happy Roman would find a more desirable role than he currently enjoys — the Raptors, don’t forget, allowed him to jack up 17.8 field-goal attempts a game this past season, second-most among NBA players who haven’t made an all-star team — is anyone’s guess. While Mamoli said he doesn’ believe Bargnani’s comments should be interpreted as a hint that he wants out of Toronto — and while NBA sources say no trade request has been made — those words weren’t Bargnani’s only eyebrow-raising utterance of the past week. Asked on the Sky Sports broadcast about Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo’s post-season assessment of his work, Bargnani replied: ‘(Colangelo) had some unfortunate and not very courageous comments about me … The facts are there for everybody to see and judge.’ There’ve been other recent reports in the Italian press in which Bargnani has called Colangelo’s words ‘uncourageous’ — if the 25-year-old was any kind of broadcast analyst, he might have leaned toward ‘dead-on’ or ‘about time.'”