Raptors HQ brought the following quote from Chad Ford of EPSN to my attention today:
With Ed Davis and Amir Johnson showing signs of potential. Does there come a time when Toronto looks to trade Bargnani? Maybe they should take a shot at Odem?
Chad Ford(1:36 PM)
It's a good question. The answer is ... not as long as Bryan Colangelo is the GM. GMs fall in love with the players they draft. It's part of our psychological need to justify our decisions. Colangelo took him No. 1 over Rudy Gay and Brandon Roy. He needs to be right. Trading him is tantamount to admitting he was a bad pick. Lakers are suffering from the same problem with Bynum. As a rule around the league, teams tend to overvalue their own players and undervalue other team's players. It's partly why we don't see more trades in the NBA. But if Colangelo were to leave the Raptors, my guess is the first move a new GM would make would be to trade Bargnani. He's talented, but it's tough to have a 7 footer on the floor who refuses to rebound or defend anyone.
Chad Ford is one of the ESPN inside guys who has lots of contacts in the NBA and often has some...inside...information. However, in this case - regardless of whether or not he has any special info - he's been saying what I and others have been saying for a while: Bryan Colangelo is obsessed with Andrea Bargnani, and the Raptors probably won't trade Bargnani until Colangelo is no longer the GM in Toronto. What I really like about the quote is that Ford says it's because of Colangelo's "psychological need to justify [his] decisions", which is certainly true in this case.
Colangelo made a risky choice by picking an unknown quantity with the #1 pick. By any objective measure, that pick has been a terrible error. If Colangelo trades Bargnani, he has to admit that he made a mistake, and people don't like to admit to making mistakes. Until BC learns from his mistakes, perhaps management should admit to their own mistake and fail to extend Colangelo's contract?
Now, Ford also threw Andrew Bynum in with Bargnani, which is a bit much. Bynum is constantly injured, but when he plays he is far more productive than Bargs. If I was in charge of the Lakers, I would consider trading him only if I could get someone who was both productive and had a history of playing a lot of games/minutes, and I would target a PG (Blake hasn't played well so far this season, and Fisher...well, he's floundering).