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Andrea Bargnani expects to make season debut for Knicks on Wednesday

New York Knicks v Sacramento Kings

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 27: Andrea Bargnani #77 of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 27, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Rocky Widner

The Knicks are done messing around.

On the verge of huge success, they’re pushing in all their chips.

New York is 5-28, mere percentage points ahead of the 4-25 76ers for the No. 1 seed in the NBA draft lottery.

So, it’s time to bring in the big gun – Andrea Bargnani.

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Bargnani missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury . Then, just when he appeared ready to return, he suffered a calf injury that has kept him out since.

Somehow, New York has persevered in his absence, losing more games than even the tanking 76ers so far.

This is a big year for the Knicks. They had no first rounder last season, and they owe a 2016 first rounder to the Raptors. This is New York’s opportunity to get it right.

Bargnani should help in that department – though there’s always a chance Bargnani, in a contract year, actually plays well and foils the Knicks’ draft dreams. Still, playing the odds, he improves New York’s draft position.

How will Philadelphia respond? Maybe Sam Hinkie would trade for Bargnani – without even requiring a second rounder for taking him.