JULY 17TH, 11:03am: The signing is official, the team announced via press release.
“Andrea will give us the ability to space the floor and complement our other frontcourt players,” King said in the team’s statement.
Bargnani didn’t want to leave New York and personally appealed to the Nets to sign him, Windrem tweets.
JULY 12TH, 5:08pm: The Nets have agreed to sign Andrea Bargnani, Brooklyn GM Billy King announced (Twitter link). The big man will receive the veteran’s minimum on a two-year deal with a player option in the second year, tweets Robert Windrem of NetsDaily.com, who cites a league source.
Bargnani has been linked to the Kings, but instead decided to take less money and join the Nets, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports (Twitter link). Sacramento pitched a two-year deal, Stein adds. Earlier Sunday, Stein reported that the Kings were close to signing the big man, but the Nets apparently swooped in and landed him.
It’s a low-risk move for the Nets, who have Thaddeus Young at power forward and Brook Lopez at center. Bargnani is a big man with offensive skills, but is often injured and therefore has missed significant time the last three seasons. He has also never been considered a strong defender.
The nine-year veteran was the overall number one pick in the 2006 NBA draft. He spent seven years in Toronto before being traded to New York in 2013. Bargnani earlier indicated that he was considering several options in free agency, including signing with a team in Europe. The Knicks were reportedly interested in keeping him, but only on a minimum-salary deal. Bargnani, who will turn 30 in October, played in only 71 of a possible 164 games for the Knicks.