Knicks And Raptors Close To Deal To Send Former Top Pick Bargnani To New York

The New York Knicks, are hoping that a change of scenery, may help the number one pick of the 2006 NBA Draft fulfill the potential the Toronto Raptors thought he possessed when they selected him. The “New York Times” is reporting that the two clubs are near completion of a trade that would send power forward Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks in exchange for veteran forward Marcus Camby and small forward Steve Novak, as well as a first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Italian native has a hefty contract that pays him $22.5 million over the next two seasons, but New York is willing to assume the salary to strengthen their front-court.

The 28-year-old power forward, who played three season for Italian League team Benetton Treviso before being drafted by Toronto, has never put up numbers expected from the first pick in the draft, averaging 15.2 points and just 4.8 boards in his seven years in the Association. However, New York will most likely give him a shot to become the starter at the four slot, supplanting Amar’e Stoudemire. New York has lost confidence that Stoudemire’s knees can withstand the rigors of an NBA campaign.

The deal would send veteran big man Marcus Camby, back to the Raptors, the team that took him with the second pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. The veteran spent most of this past campaign on the bench plagued by pain in his feet and owed $8.6 million over the next two years. Toronto also acquires small forward Steve Novak, who impressed the Knicks with his three-point shooting prowess enough to land a four-year deal with the team last summer. He still has another three years remaining on his deal.

New York hopes to remain competitive with their neighbors the Brooklyn Nets, who are undergoing a massive makeover this off-season. The Nets will enter next season with rookie head coach Jason Kidd at the helm, who will be joined by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and former Dallas Mavericks back-court mate Jason Terry on his new squad. The Nets and Boston Celtics consummated a trade on Thursday night, that will send the three veterans to Brooklyn on July 12.

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