In a prospective trade to de-emphasize Amar’e Stoudemire’s importance, the Knicks are attempting to finalize a deal today to bring aboard Raptors big man Andrea Bargnani, according to two sources. With free agency beginning at midnight last night, the Knicks’ biggest splash could be the 6-foot-11 Bargnani’s arrival in a trade with Toronto, which would receive Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, a future first-round pick and next year’s second-rounder. The teams needed to finish the deal last night for salary-cap reasons because the contract figures change today, which would throw off the math. That didn’t happen, but both sides are very motivated to make it work and plan on making revisions, sources told The Post. The Knicks can add one of their free agents, such as Kenyon Martin, in a sign-and-trade, but the deal wouldn’t become official until July 10. The Knicks have worked on this deal for several weeks and it was not a reaction to the Nets adding Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The Raptors have shopped Bargnani due to his reputation as a soft big man who was injury prone. The Italian center/power forward became persona non grata in Toronto the past two seasons, failing to live up to his potential as a No. 1 overall pick in 2006. But he is a deft perimeter shooter and the Knicks are looking to upgrade their offense, which failed them in their playoff loss to the Pacers. They also are leery of putting too many eggs in Stoudemire’s basket and want to avoid leaning on him for a full season. The Knicks conceivably can start Bargnani at power forward and move Carmelo Anthony back to small forward, but they would prefer to start Anthony at the four. Because they were willing to absorb the final two years and $22.25 million of Bargnani’s contract, along with a 1.5 percent trade kicker, the Knicks weren’t asked to give up a big asset. They would part with two players with undesirable contracts in Novak and Camby. The Knicks don’t have a 2014 first-rounder, so they are not permitted to trade a pick until 2016.
Knicks close in on deal with Raptors for Bargnani
New York Post | Jul 1