Bargnani's first two years were dreadful, particularly his 2007-08 season, when he produced -3.84 wins. He showed some signs of improvement during the 2008-09 season, but any progress was lost after this year. Charitably, I have predicted a WP48 of -0.010 for next season, but given his age (he's turning 25 in October) and past performance, the reality for next year could be even worse.
Why is Il Mago such an inefficient player? Let's compare him to an average PF and an average C, and throw in Troy Murphy as a comparison. Why Troy Murphy? Murphy is the player that Bargnani was supposed to be:
|Average stats have been "borrowed" from The Wages of Wins. All stats are per 48min.|
As you can see, Bargnani is actually above-average when it comes to shooting efficiency, FG attempts, points scored, TOs, and PFs. Where Bargnani falls short is FT attempts, assists, and especially net possessions (Reb + Stl - TO). To quote Bill Walton, Bargnani is a terrrrrrrible rebounder. He barely manages to out-rebound an average SF (7.6 Reb/48), despite the fact that he is 7ft tall. By contrast, Troy Murphy is an excellent rebounder (and a better shooter).
Bargnani is a 7ft tall player who plays PF and C. In order to improve his efficiency, he has to start rebounding like a PF or a C, because his numbers are compared to all the other PFs and Cs in the league, nearly all of whom are better rebounders. Rebounding adds possessions to a team; possessions are very valuable.
Next season, I'm penciling Bargnani in as the Raptors starting centre due to his height, size, and the fact that it is very likely he will be defending opposing teams' centres. Unless the Raptors trade or sign someone else, Bargnani will be the Raptors' centre. If that comes to pass, his WP48 and Wins Produced could be significantly worse than what I've included in my projections.
That concludes the first 2009-10 Player Review. I'll be taking requests for the next player review in the comments.