Bargnani eager for fresh start
July, 11, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Rocky Widner/Getty ImagesAndrea Bargnani said he "really wants" to help the Knicks win next season.After suffering through years of losing with the Toronto Raptors, former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani is looking forward to a fresh start with the New York Knicks.
"I had a weird experience in Toronto. I had good years and the last couple of years were bad. When you lose there's going to be frustration. I'm just very excited to be here. I can't wait to start," Bargnani said on a conference call Thursday. "I really want to help this team to win... I'm starving to win."
The Knicks sent Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and second-rounders in 2014 and 2017 to Toronto to acquire Bargnani in a trade that was officially announced on Wednesday.
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GLEN NOT WORRIED ABOUT PARTING WITH PICK: Some Knicks fans weren't happy that the Knicks including their 2016 first-round pick in the trade for Bargnani. The Knicks now have just one pick -- a 2015 first-rounder -- over the next three drafts.
"Obviously you'd like to have a lot of draft picks, but at the same time we use those draft picks to get good players; we're a good team because we use those draft picks and as we all know draft picks are not guarantees always," Grunwald said.
Here's what Grunwald said about sending the 2016 first-rounder to Toronto for Bargnani:
"It was already subject to a flip with Denver [as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade], so that it would be the least favorable of our pick or Denver's pick. Denver I think is going to be pretty good for a while. I didn't think we were at risk of giving up a really top pick," Grunwald said. "So again, you're looking at giving up a pick maybe in the 20s or something like that. I didn't think it was that valuable versus getting a really talented player like Andrea."
Grunwald also downplayed the idea that the Knicks made the trade for Bargnani in response to the Brooklyn Nets' headline-grabbing additions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
"I think we’re always trying to get better," Grunwald said. "... We wanted to take another step forward this year and we felt that [acquiring] Andrea was a step forward for us and, notwithstanding what other teams do, we have to get better. We made a big step forward last season but obviously we're not satisfied and we need to continue to move this organization forward."
BARGS TO WEAR NO. 77: Bargnani will wear No. 77. His preferred number, seven, is currently worn by Carmelo Anthony.
"I was going to change my number anyway," Bargnani explained. "I always liked 77. I wanted to have it in Toronto."
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