You make the call – Andrea Bargnani or David Lee?

According to different published reports, the New York Knicks are currently in the process of exploring Sign & Trade options this summer for David Lee [restricted free agent, right now], their 2005 No. 30 [overall] Draft Pick.

In contrast, earlier today it was announced that the Toronto Raptors have agreed to extend the existing contract of Andrea Bargnani [restricted free agent next summer], their 2006 No. 1 [overall] Draft Pick, to the tune of $50.0 M for the next 5 seasons.

Hmmm …

Then a few minutes ago, this comment:

“Although it’s a tough comparison, I would say that what you lose from Bargnani on D you make up for with tremendous talent on O. Don’t get me wrong, David Lee is a fine player, but I’d still rather have Bargnani.”
- Marc 

was submitted to the following thread:

Bargnani extended, salary cap, pick barter

at Raptors Republic which, in turn, generated the following Poll Question in the mind of yours truly:


With Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Bosh as teammates ... Who is the better fit with the Toronto Raptors?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


The Specific View From This Corner

If the long term goal of your franchise is to field a highly “competitive” team which plays an “entertaining” brand of pro basketball and allows you to reap tremendous “profits” from the enterprise … then, Andrea Bargnani, whose specific high end skill-set is concentrated almost exclusively on offense, is the superior building block for your team.

However, if/when the long term goal of your franchise is to field a DOMINANT team that is actually CAPABLE of WINNING the NBA CHAMPIONSHIP one day in the no-too-distant future … then, David Lee, whose specific high end skill-set is better dispersed over ALL THREE main phases of the game [i.e. Rebounding, Defense and Offense] is the superior building block for your team.

PS. Your exact answer to this Poll Question explains a great deal about how you view the NBA game and reflects the priorities which you have as a fan and/or an informed observer. 


Visitor feedback is welcome in the comments section.


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33 Responses to “You make the call – Andrea Bargnani or David Lee?”

  1. INFO Says:

    With D.Lee you get serious toughness and a ganenteed 10+ boards. But his offence is only put back and dunks. With Bargs you get 15+ points that are not garbage points, but only 5 rebounds. Comparing them defenceivly they are around the same with Bargnani having more block potential because of his length.

    In the end Bargs is younger and has more potential as a scorer and defender; and will come cheaper, because it looks that D.Lee wants 12 million a year.

  2. eyebleaf Says:

    Lee’s rebounding numbers are impressive, but I still think Bargs has more upside. Colangelo said give Andrea five years. By my count, and I suck at math, we’re going into number four. I’m willing to give BC the time he asked for.


  3. gally carps Says:

    Though David Lee is a terrific rebounder, I will take Bargnani anytime he is a very versatile big man. He can score inside and outside, plus he is not that bad in depending his man. Maybe the arrival of Mark Iavaroni will help him polish his rebounding skill.

  4. Mauro Says:

    I watched 36 Lee playing this year.
    David Lee is a good guy but an overrated defender.
    He lacks a midrange jumpshot and its not blocking anyone so nobody is scared to shot close to Lee.
    Just pay a visit to some knick forum, and you will see that my feeling its shared across the board.
    So, regardless of AB, Lee isn’t a good fit close to CB4

  5. CanuckX Says:

    “PS. Your exact answer to this Poll Question explains a great deal about how you view the NBA game and reflects the priorities which you have as a fan and/or an informed observer. ”
    Wow. You are THE authority in the bball universe.
    If we vote Andrea, we apparently don’t want to win a championship! You are the one that “entertaining”. Just sad how your PS came across.

  6. Marc Says:

    I was basing my comment on a combination of talent now as well as possible future talent. David Lee will NEVER be a great or even good offensive player. Additionally, he is only an average-to-good defender. His main strength is that he really gets after it on the boards. He excels at one phase of the game, but is only average to medicre at the other two phases. Which would make him, under your definition, somewhat of a one-dimensional player. Not quite as one-dimensional as Bargnani, mind you, but one-dimensional nonetheless.

    Andrea Bargnani, on the other hand, has shown willingness (and actual progress) towards improving the two facets of the game where he struggles the most (defense and rebounding). He could, with good coaching and enough patience, eventually become average at both. He’ll never be a great rebounder or defender, since he doesn’t have the strength, reflexes, or foot speed to excel at those two facets, but he can, I believe, reach the point where rebounding and defense are no longer glaring weaknesses.

    You are right about one thing: David Lee IS a better fit alongside a perimeter-oriented score-first PF such as Chris Bosh. However, since there is no gaurentee that Bosh will be around after next season, I would not give up a unique offensive talent such as Bargnani just for a good role player in David Lee.

  7. MC B-Rad Says:

    It looks like the majority feels bargs is the better bet….that didnt work too well for ya did it *****?


    Edit: If you’d like to continue having your comments published here, you’ll refrain from using insults. It’s your choice. Hopefully, you’ll make it wisely. ;)

  8. khandor Says:

    Thanks to those who’ve provided comments, thus far.

    As a tangible example of what we’re talking about here, it might help to consider these two specific line-ups side-by-each:

    Bargnani + Bosh + Turkoglu + DeRozan + Calderon

    Bosh + Lee + Turkoglu + DeRozan + Calderon

    IMO, if these two groups of players were to compete vs one another over a stretch of games this is what is likely to happen:

    1. When the Bargnani/Bosh team wins … it will do so by a wider points differential, in a high scoring game.

    2. When the Bosh/Lee team wins … it will do so by a more narrow points margin, in a lower scoring game.

    3. The Bosh/Lee team would win the majority of the games these two team play.

    REBOUNDING DIFFERENTIAL and overall proficiency are substantially more important, as relates to winning and losing specific games, vs specific opponents, than most NBA fans realize.

  9. khandor Says:

    MC B-Rad,

    Actually … it worked out just fine, as the exact opposite is usually true, in Raptorville.

    i.e. Whatever the majority thinks is best is eventually proven out to be INCORRECT, with the passage of time.

    Perhaps you haven’t been paying close enough attention over the last several seasons. :-)

  10. khandor Says:


    Welcome aboard!

    Yes … IMO, if you happen to vote for Bargnani, when the choice is a player with the skill-set of Daivd Lee beside Bosh, Turkoglu and Calderon, then, it reflects your prioritization of “entertaining” basketball moreso than “championship-winning” basketball.

  11. khandor Says:


    1. You already know where I stand as far as Chris Bosh’s best position is concerned. :-)

    Used properly, CB4 is in fact a Low & Mid Post player, on offense, and NOT a perimeter Big in the least.

    2. Teams with relatively “unique” offensive talents like Andrea Bargnani, at Center, do not win the NBA championship.

  12. khandor Says:


    Are those Knicks forums considering David Lee as an under-sized Center for the Mike D’Antoni Knicks?

    Or, as a PF beside an under-sized Center like Chris Bosh and a SF with the skill-set of Hedo Turkoglu?

    [plus, the OG skills of DeRozan and Calderon as the PG]

    Perhaps what you can do is visit those forums and ask those Knicks if if they think the line-up of:

    Sessions + Chandler + Gallinari + Lee + Bosh

    would be a solid 5-Man for their team in the Big Apple.

    I think the answer might be yes.

  13. khandor Says:

    gally carps,

    In general, a player’s ability to REBOUND stems from his internal motivation and character.

    While Bargnani certainly can get better in this phase of the game, IMO, he will never be considered as a REBOUNDER, per se.

    It is not what drives his engine.

  14. Brasky Says:

    Now that we have Turkoglu, Toronto needs a guy who can get garbage points, and offensive rebounds, along with quick defensive rotations.

    Bargnani is not that guy. He looks to be on a learning curve right now and could very well improve in these areas, but it doesn’t look like he has the right mentality and instincts. I think this team could be okay in terms of defensive rebounding, but in terms of offensive boards, it will get extremely ugly.

    Colangelo said we needed to get tougher, but at the end of the day, this is still a relatively soft jumpshooting team with little rebounding, and mediocre offensive efficiency. Not exactly sure how Lee is in terms of overall D, but he can’t be much worse than Bargnani.

  15. Brasky Says:

    P.S. Fire Colangelo :)

  16. Dave Says:

    I thought Andrea Bargnani would win the poll, but I’m surprised the margin is so big.

  17. khandor Says:


    In my experience, the majority of Raptors fans do not have the ability to make a sound assessment of the relative strengths and weakness of their own team.

    What would lead you to believe that the results of this poll would be anything but tilted towards Bargnani?


    PS. If the results were relatively even, or in favour of Lee, only then would I be surprised.

  18. khandor Says:


    Like you, I too share a healthy skepticism at this point that Turkoglu, who I happen to like a great deal as a solid NBA forward, is the right fit for the Raptors’ roster … beside Bosh & Bargnani.

    e.g. One of the factors that’s weighing in as positive, in my mind, at the moment, is the possibility of this line-up getting a significant amount of run:

    STARTERS: Calderon + Off-Guard + Turkoglu + Evans + Bosh
    KEY SUBS: Back-up PG + DeRozan + Back-up PF + Bargnani

    Until I get a better idea, however, of who the other players on the roster are actually going to be and how they might be used from #1-12, it seems prudent to reserve judgment about the quality of the preliminary moves by the team this summer.

  19. Marc Says:

    You really need to stop talking down to Raptors fans in general. Aren’t you one? Isn’t Dave one? Isn’t Brasky one? Aren’t I one? Just because someone has different views than you does not necessarily make those views inferior.

    Every team in every sport has it’s idiots. No more or no less than in Toronto. Get your head out your ass or move to Boston

  20. Marc Says:

    And yes, we all understand that rebounding is a huge part of the game of basketball. However, it is a simple fact that games are decided by score differential, and NOT rebounding differential.

  21. Linkage for Jul 7 9pm to Jul 8 6pm - Raptors Republic Says:

    [...] khandor’s sports blog » You make the call – Andrea Bargnani or David Lee? [...]

  22. khandor Says:


    Do you see the words “majority” or “most” in what I’ve written here [as well as, elsewhere] about Raptors fans?

    Hopefully you do.

    IMO, individuals like Brasky, Scott G. and Dave [for example] represent a minority of Raptors fans who … although they disagree with some of my perspectives on the game [in general] and the Raptors [specifically] … have a sound grasp of how the game actually works at the highest levels of competitive play.

    You, on the other hand represent the majority … and I don’t use that description to be insulting towards you at all.

    It’s strictly a professional/business judgment on my part.


    re: Score vs Rebounding Differential

    Do you think Score Differentials effect Rebounding Differentials?


    Do you think Rebounding Differentials effect Score Differentials?

  23. Marc Says:

    Oh, I didn’t realize you were getting paid to do this. My mistake. I’m only here because I love basketball.

    Of course rebounding differentials effect score differentials. No stat is entirely meaningless, and no stat exists in a vacuum. What am I saying is that the stat that matters most is the score. Rebounding is secondary (above all else but the score).

  24. khandor Says:


    re: Oh, I didn’t realize you were getting paid to do this. My mistake. I’m only here because I love basketball. – by Marc

    It’s taken YOU an awful long time to realize one of the simple distinctions between YOU and me. :-)


    Yes, the score is what matters most in a basketball game.

    What do YOU think has MORE of an effect on the final score of a basketball game:

    A. How many points a specific player scores for his team


    B. The Rebounding Differential in that game?

  25. CanuckX Says:

    So if David Lee is so good, why would New York trade him – they are desperate for rebounders as well (one reason why he hauled down so much – didn’t have many other guys to pick up boards).
    And, how we get Lee anyway? Don’t see any trade that works except giving up Bosh.
    It’s a good comparison, but Lee does not play defense (zero help D, slow), a whopping 0.3 blocks a game, has no offensive range and, while solid, is limited in his upside.
    And, in your scenario, you have two power forwards (not good) unless you try to make the (sorry, but it is) insane case for 230 lbs Bosh and center. Entertaining comment indeed.
    I did like your comments about Evans in the lineup – everyone seems to forgot. Bosh, Bargs and Turk will play 36 min each – leaving plenty of time for Evans to play with 2 of the 3 – and adding that toughness and rebounding. Plus, you have 2 bigs that can score on the floor the entire game. This is why we do not need Lee. If we only played 5 players, then I understand some of the desire for a guy like Lee. But that’s why such an imp role player was signed!
    Signed, someone who choses Andrea and understands how to build a dominant team.

  26. CanuckX Says:

    “A. How many points a specific player scores for his team
    B. The Rebounding Differential in that game?”

    Here’s where stats can easily lie. Where does a team get the bulk of their rebounds? On the defensive end. What happens if the opposing team has a poor FG%? The defense gets more rebounds! What happens if that same team shoots well? The opposing team gets even less rebounds.

    Correlation does not imply causation. One of the most imp rules when looking at these stats. The above example is telling. Some teams are good are forcing up tough shots – which means more rebounds, etc…

  27. Marc Says:

    The rebounding differential is obviously more important than one particular player’s point total.

    Let me ask you this then:

    What is more important, the score differential or one specific player’s rebounding numbers?

    Yeah. Pointless, I know…

    It’s too bad you don’t love basketball. I find it to be a very fine game.

  28. khandor Says:


    1. At no point did I say that David Lee “was so good”.

    2. What I’ve said here is that David Lee is a better fit with these Raptors than is Andrea Bargnani.

    3. There’s a difference between those two observations. :-)

    4. I didn’t say that there is a workable trade available for David Lee, although there may well be.

    5. In my scenario I have only one player at each of the respective positions.

    6. I left Evans out for different reasons.

    e.g. Acquiring a player like Reggie Evans would not have been necessary if you substitute a player like David Lee for a player like Andrea Bargnani.

    We are only speakinging about the “good fit/bad fit” assessment of the Raptors 5-Man Unit comprised of Bargnani + Bosh + Turkoglu + Calderon + OG.

    Once we assess that specific accurately THEN we can move on to the other components of proper team building, if the goal is Winning a League Championship.

    8. Why Rebounding Differential is important is not part of what I wrote .. yet.

    9. I said nothing about Causation, yet. All I’ve mentioned, thus far, relates to correlation.

  29. khandor Says:


    re: What is more important, the score differential or one specific player’s rebounding numbers? – by Marc

    More important in what regard?

    The answer you’ll get will be determined, at least, in part, by the specific question you ask. ;)


    Trust that The Love and Respect and Appreciation which I have for the game supercedes yours. :-)

  30. CanuckX Says:

    Khandor – agreed on the first few points. You meant as a discussion point rather than a possibility.
    I do think my points on rebounding are important to the discussion.

  31. K-man Says:

    My gut says David Lee but I’ll rescind that. I agree with CanuckX regarding Lee’s defensive prowess. You’d think he’s a bang up defenseman but he’s actually below average.

    Depending on how they want to play, it’s really a toss-up.

  32. John Says:

    Hey i***t what exactly has Lee won that would make him a valuable piece towards a dominant team? Get your head out of your ass and stop spreading your propeganda. If we’re talking about weak frontcourt D then this article should be titled Bosh or David Lee.

    Edit: Here’s the deal John. You behave like a sensible person … and I let you submit comments here. :-) Attempts to hurl insults, however, don’t fly in this zone. The choice is yours.

  33. khandor Says:


    Knowledgeable basketball people will tell you without hesitation that Bosh is a better Center than Bargnani and so is David Lee.

    You are certainly free to hold a different opinion, if you wish.

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