Toronto forward-center Andrea Bargnani offered a blunt assessment of the struggling Raptors, telling an Italian newspaper that the club is "pretty much the worst team in the NBA."
The first overall pick in the 2006 draft, Bargnani is sidelined because of a torn ligament in his elbow and a strained right wrist. He was injured when he fell awkwardly on a dunk attempt Monday in a loss at Portland, and is expected to miss three weeks.
At 5-19, Toronto is ahead of only Washington (3-17) in the NBA standings.
Bargnani told Italy's La Gazzetta Dello Sport that Toronto's start was "tragic" and "a desperate situation."
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said Friday he intended to speak to Bargnani about his remarks but said he would be "surprised" if the comments had not been "lost in translation."
Wizards Point guard John Wall can "ramp things up" as he recovers from a stress injury to his left knee cap, coach Randy Wittman said, although there's still no specific timetable for his return. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft has not played this season.
Timberwolves Coach Rick Adelman said guard Ricky Rubio worked out in Minnesota on Friday and is "very close" to returning from torn left knee ligaments that have sidelined him since March.
76ers Point guard Jrue Holiday did not play against Indiana because of a sprained right foot. Holiday leads Philadelphia with 18.4 points a game.
Cavaliers Guard Dion Waiters, the fourth pick in this year's draft, is expected to return from a sprained left ankle for Cleveland's game Tuesday against Toronto.
Hornets Seven-footer Jason Smith could miss up to two weeks with a right shoulder sprain.
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Associated Press
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at email@example.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.