Having suffered an avulsion sprain of his right elbow, Andrea Bargnani will miss the rest of the 2012/13 season, the Raptors announced today in a press release. According to the team, Bargnani's new injury isn't related to the elbow issue that sidelined him for 26 games earlier in the season.
While Bargnani's injury has little to no effect on the Raptors' postseason chances, which are virtually non-existent at this point, it could affect his trade stock this summer. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun reacted to the news by tweeting that Bargnani has likely played his last game in a Raptors uniform, with the team looking to move him after the season. However, as Doug Smith of the Toronto Star points out (via Twitter), trading Bargnani in the summer will be a tall order, given his poor play in '12/13, along with the fact that teams won't know for sure if he's healthy.
Wolstat rightly points out (via Twitter) that it would be better for the Raps if they could find a taker prior to next season, to provide a fresh start for both the player and the team. Still, I tend to side with Smith, and wonder how Toronto could find anything of value for a player who was struggling even before suffering a season-ending injury. Prior to the trade deadline, Bargnani was being linked in trade rumors to players like Ben Gordon and Carlos Boozer, whose contracts are as bad or worse than Bargnani's. I doubt the offers will improve at all this summer.
Amnestying Bargnani, who is owed $22.25MM beyond this season, is also an option for Toronto, but the club is unlikely to go that route as long as Bryan Colangelo remains in charge, as Wolstat tweets. Linas Kleiza remains the stronger amnesty candidate for the Raptors.