The 27-year-old Bargnani was declared unfit to participate in the Eurobasket tournament weeks after being acquired on July 10 in a trade with the Toronto Raptors.
Taken first overall by Toronto in 2006, the 7-foot, 256 pound Bargnani averaged 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks over 433 games as a Raptor.
Brittle and possibly lacking testicular fortitude, the passive Italian has a lot to prove as an employee at The World’s Most Famous Arena and the Knicks need a healthy and rested version of Bargnani.
Considering Amar’e Stoudemire recently underwent his third knee surgery in the span of a year, Bargnani’s importance to the Knicks has dramatically increased.
Going 54-28 and advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Knicks certainly had an impressive 2012-2013 campaign.
Unless Andrea Bargnani matures into a consistent force on the hardwood, the Knicks are destined to disappoint in Gotham this winter.by