Can Andrea Bargnani Fill The Void Chris Copeland’s Departure May Create?

 

By re-signing Pablo Prigioni, the Knicks will dip into their mini-MLE, not leaving much cash to be desired by another worthy enough player.

Thus, New York may have taken themselves out of the running for Chris Copeland's continued services. 

April's "Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month" took a while to get going last season as he worked to earn the trust of head coach Mike Woodson. Having played in just 56 games during his rookie year in the NBA, the 29 year old averaged 8.7 points on 48% from the field and 42% from downtown. 

Though Copeland often found himself in Woodson's doghouse due to his lack of defensive prowess, he broke out towards the end of the season, averaging 11.9 points (on 48% from the field and 46% from deep) and 3.2 rebounds through 24 games after the all-star break.

Copeland may be soft, but his ability to fill it up and put the ball in the basket is undeniable. He can do so in a hurry, and is as bold of a shot-taker as you'll find in the NBA. He's certainly confident in his ability to knock down the long ball.

Clearly, the big man showed plenty of promise and there's definitely something to be said about how hard he worked throughout the season to please Woodson. Perhaps he's earned what's coming to him, in the form of a more lucrative contract, with teams like the Cavaliers and Pacers interested in signing him. 

It would be nice to watch Copeland continue to achieve success in the Big Apple, but should he depart, perhaps the Knicks have already found his replacement.

 


Trading for Andrea Bargnani may not have been Glen Grunwald's most favorable move, but maybe the former Raptors' big man can still be used for something.

Bargnani will probably receive similar criticism to Copeland from Coach Woodson because of his lack of defensive abilities, but fortunately, Bargnani can pour in the points as well. 

Perhaps even more so than Copeland, Bargnani can spread the floor because he serves as a threat to knock down shots from all around the court. Of course, the keys to his potential Knickerbocker success will be staying healthy, as well as pleasing and appeasing his new coach. Still, if he can manage that, his offensive prowess stands to benefit New York.

It would appear as though Bargnani is poised to help pace the Knicks' second unit next season. As previously noted, Woodson favors defensive-minded players, so it would make sense that such players will be ahead of Bargnani on New York's depth chart. 

What's more, starting the Italian Stallion next to Tyson Chandler in the Knicks' front court would mean shifting Carmelo Anthony back to small forward. Given his M.V.P. like success at power forward this past season, switching him back so soon shouldn't be something the Knicks are inclined to do.

Copeland struggled to find minutes during his rookie year because of the presence of a veteran player like Steve Novak, who has a similar skill set. Though Novak is now gone, Bargnani is now in, so it would appear as though Copeland would still stand to have similar competition if he stayed.

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