While Mitchell would not say that Bargnani has been a failure he did say his career has been disappointing given his draft status.
“Anytime you average 17, 18 points a game, you are not a failure,” Mitchell explained. “But you have to understand, the expectations of being a No. 1 pick of his talent and skill level is bigger than 17 points a game.”
Mitchell believes that Bargnani would benefit from having a player like Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett around to help motivate him as a player.
He saw the changes that Garnett brought to the culture in Boston as a possible way for the Raptors to get more out of Bargnani.
“Sometimes it takes more than a GM or an organization or a coach; sometimes it takes players,” Mitchell said before explaining his perception on Garnett and the Celtics.
“Kevin Garnett goes to Boston in a trade all of the sudden Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are these great defenders. All of the sudden they are these great people. They’re these hard-working guys. They were always all-stars but now they are superstars. What made the difference? Bringing a guy like Kevin Garnett in that locker-room and people seeing how he worked and the mentality of a true warrior. On the court, in practice and in the weight room He changed the perception of Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.
“I contend that if you put that type of guy with that type of status, if you put Kevin Garnett in the locker-room with Andrea — one of two things is going to happen: his level of play will rise or he will quit because Kevin Garnett is going to challenge you every day and he’s going to be unmerciful. “