The trade rumours involving Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani are being fueled once again.
According to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein, the former No. 1 overall pick is "a lock to be moved" in the New Year. The article, published on Friday, also suggests that point guard Kyle Lowry could be involved in a potential deal along with Bargnani.
Bargnani has missed the last eight games after injuring his elbow in an away loss to Portland on Dec. 10. Toronto has won six of those games.
Lowry, who suffered a partially torn triceps muscle in that same loss to the Blazers, returned off the bench for the Raptors on Friday and played an instrumental part in Toronto’s overtime victory against the New Orleans Hornets.
This isn’t the first time that the 27-year-old Bargnani has been the subject of trade talks this season, as the Italian forward was rumoured to be on the block the day after he suffered the elbow injury.
One of the teams involved in those talks were the Los Angeles Lakers, who were rumoured to be shopping Spanish big-man Pau Gasol.
It could be tough to move Bargnani due to his current contract. The first-overall pick in the 2006 draft is signed through the 2014-15 season and is owed $23 million over the next two years. However, the addition of Lowry may entice some teams to make the deal.
Bargnani, in his seventh year in the NBA, is averaging 16.8 points and 4.5 rebounds, but has been limited to just 20 games because of the elbow injury.