Bargnani 'thrilled' to be joining Knicks

Andrea Bargnani, in his first comment on his pending trade to the New York Knicks, says he's "thrilled" to be a part of New York's "storied franchise."

The Knicks finalized a deal for Bargnani on Monday. To land the former No. 1 pick, New York will send Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, a future first-round pick and two future second-rounders to Toronto.

"I just want to thank the Toronto organization and my fans for all their support over the last 7 years," Bargnani tweeted Tuesday. "I am thrilled to become a New York Knick and look forward to becoming a part of their storied franchise."

The trade won't be official until July 10, when the NBA's moratorium on free-agent signings and trades is lifted.

Reaction to the Bargnani trade has been mixed.

In dealing Camby and Novak, the Knicks were able to rid themselves of two players who were not viewed as great fits for the roster. But Bargnani is viewed as a one-dimensional scorer. And they had to add a potentially valuable first-round pick (2016) to complete the trade.

One ex-GM with strong ties to current NBA executives said the reaction around the league was one of surprise.

"People were scratching their heads," the former GM said. "A lot of people wonder if Bargnani really wants to play."

Bargnani, 27, was booed in Toronto last season. He missed 47 games and averaged just 12.7 points on 40 percent shooting, his production hampered by elbow injuries.

Over his career, Bargnani has averaged 15.3 points per game on 43.7 percent shooting.

The Raptors, according to ESPN Stats & Information, were a far better team defensively with Bargnani on the bench last season. They allowed seven fewer points per 48 minutes.

Bargnani's arrival creates several questions for the Knicks' coaching staff.

Mike Woodson & Co. have to figure out who starts at power forward next season and how Bargnani's presence affects Amar'e Stoudemire.

Bargnani will make $23 million over the next two seasons. His salary will come off the books in the summer of 2015, when Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony's current contracts expire.

QUESTION: Bargnani is "thrilled" to be a Knick. Are you thrilled that he is here?

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