Bryan Colangelo may have wanted to deal Andrea Bargnani but time was not on his side.
Bargnani missed 26 games in the middle of the season with a torn elbow ligament and had only been back for six before Thursday’s trade deadline arrived, leaving precious little time to get something done.
“His return, as late as it was, probably did not leave enough runway for a deal to be made right now,” the Raptors president and general manager said about a possible trade of the team’s longest-serving player.
While Colangelo had said last month that perhaps Bargnani — and the team — might have benefited from a change of scenery for the 7-foot forward, there wasn’t enough of a baseline to prove his worth.
The general managed did say he would revisit possible deals in the summer but “that’s an ongoing process with everybody on the roster.”
Bargnani has been coming off the bench since his return, a change from a starting role he’s had much of his seven-year career. He also returned to a virtually new team anchored offensively by Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan and led by point guard Kyle Lowry.
“You add all that up and it’s going to take a while to get acclimated,” Colangelo said. “We still firmly believe in Andrea’s talent.”
That talent, however, has barely been on display in the six games Bargnani has played since getting hurt in early December.
He started out with two solid outings — 14 and 13 points against Boston and Indiana — and looked engaged and interested. He’s been on a downswing since, shooting just 7-for-19 from the floor and making one of six three-pointers in his last four games. He was scoreless in 22 minutes of Toronto’s loss to Memphis on Wednesday.