The trade talks were extensive and with a lot of teams.
But when Thursday's trade deadline rolled around, Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo said he was confident that the acquisition of journeyman point guard Sebastian Telfair was the best move available for his team.
As for Andrea Bargnani, long rumoured to be the most likely warm body to be leaving town, Colangelo said it is time for the power forward to pick up his play and be a contributing factor for the Raptors game in and game out for the rest of the season.
"He's going to have to step up," Colangelo said Friday following the Raptors shootaround at the Air Canada Centre in preparation for Friday night's game against the New York Knicks.
"Everybody's got to step up if we want to reach our internal goal of making the playoffs."
After injuring his arm in December and missing 26 games, Bargnani returned on Feb. 6 against the Boston Celtics to a far different Raptors lineup than when he departed.
Bargnani's play since his return has been inconsistent at best, and even Colangelo categorized it as 50 per cent good and 50 per cent not so good.
The biggest change was the presence of Rudy Gay, the Raptors new go-to swingman who the Raptors traded for at the end of January.
Gone was Jose Calderon and Ed Davis, both starters, and DeMar DeRozan was becoming a fixture in the offensive scheme of things.
Bargnani was also no longer in the starting lineup.
"You add all that up and it's going to take a while to get acclimated to all the new surroundings," said Colangelo, who said he still believes in his former No. 1 draft pick.
Bargnani has been the focus of continued cat-calls from many of the fans at the ACC in recent games, and Colangelo said all the negative press the power forward has generated of late hasn't helped.
"He's affected by it, obviously," Colangelo said. "We all are. But he's a man. He's got to strap on his shoes and play basketball."
As for Telfair, the Raptors are not expecting him to arrive in Toronto until later this afternoon and it is not anticipated he will be in uniform against the Knicks.
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