Report: Raps, Bulls talk Bargnani, Boozer deal

February 7, 2013, 6:56 PM

A week after acquiring Rudy Gay, and with the NBA’s Feb. 21 trade deadline fast approaching, the Toronto Raptors may be at it again.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Raptors and Chicago Bulls have been in “exploratory” talks over a trade that could send Andrea Bargnani to Chicago in exchange for power forward Carlos Boozer.

Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo recently admitted that Bargnani had garnered interest around the league before he suffered an injury that caused him to miss 26 games. The team was also said to have been interested in Los Angeles Lakers big-man Pau Gasol before the 32-year-old Spaniard injured his foot Tuesday night.

Sources told the web site that the Raptors’ financial situation following the acquisition of Gay from Memphis could be the biggest hurdle in a trade for Boozer if Chicago were to agree to a deal. However, Colangelo said after the Gay trade that he would be willing to venture into luxury-tax territory if the “right transaction” arose.

Boozer is believed to be a top candidate to be released by the Bulls via the amnesty claim in the offseason, despite his high level of production in Chicago. The 31-year-old is averaging 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in 45 games this season, numbers that have balooned recently after a slow start.

Bargnani made his return to the Raptors lineup Wednesday after missing 26 games with an elbow injury. The 27-year-old Italian is currently having one of the worst seasons of his career, averaging 15.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in just 22 games.

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