The Sacramento Kings and Italian big man Andrea Bargnani are in advanced discussions and appear close to agreeing on a contract for the 2015-2016 season, according to Marc Stein on ESPN.com.
ESPN sources say Sacramento Kings are in advanced discussions with Andrea Bargnani and closing in on signing the former Knick
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 12, 2015
Bargnani, 29, is coming off two disappointing seasons as a member of the New York Knicks. The Knicks traded three players and three draft picks to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for the seven-footer. The team appeared to have acquired a versatile player with dynamic scoring ability.
However, Bargnani failed to live up to both expectations and his salaries of $10.75 million during the 2013-2014 season and $11.5 million during the 2014-2015 season. Bargnani played in just 71 total games as a Knick, posting combined averages of 13.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG.
Previous to his stint in the Big Apple, Bargnani spent seven seasons north of the border with the Raptors. There, he developed the reputation of being a consistent scorer. The Rome native averaged 15.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG during his time in Toronto, with his best season coming in 2010-2011, a season in which he averaged 21.4 PPG and 5.2 RPG.
Another thing to watch with Bargnani is his health, as he’s only played in 60 or more games once in the past five seasons.
But the former number one overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft still comes with upside. He is still young and possesses an innate scoring ability and considerable size. Recently, Bargnani mentioned in an interview with La Gazzetta (via Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork) that he was considering several options as a free agent, including playing overseas in Europe next season.
As for Bargnani’s potential salary with the Kings, he may only receive a minimum deal or just barely squeeze into the team’s remaining salary cap space, as noted by former NBA executive Bobby Marks.
Still showing SAC with some cap space. Not sure the timing on how they will sign their FA’s. Bargnani could be the existing space or Minim.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 12, 2015
The Kings swung a trade this week with the Philadelphia 76ers in which they were able to shed over $16 million worth of salary space by trading away Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, and Nik Stauskas. This gave the team the needed financial freedom to ink several free agents, including point guard Rajon Rondo.
Should he sign with the Kings, Bargnani will likely occupy the role of a bench player who the Kings will rely upon to score the ball consistently in his allotted playing time.
[Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]