It is becoming increasingly clear that Chris Bosh wants to play in another city next year. He seems to be revelling in his free agency and being wined and dined by various NBA teams. The one glitch in his plan for a 6 year max deal seems to now be the Raptors unwillingness to accommodate Bosh unless the Raptors stand to gain as well. This could throw a wrench into the plans for a super team in Chicago or Miami and may force Chris to take less money in a city he wants to play in. Still, many possibilities exist for the Raptors and Chris Bosh to find a deal that will appease both sides.
Let’s take a look at his potential suitors:
Miami Heat: Before the onset of free agency and in the first few days of the frenzy, Miami looked like the sure-fire destination for CB4. Miami had a deal on the table including Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers and Joel Anthony. The deal would have combine Bosh with Dwayne Wade, but would have also left Miami’s bench pretty thin. The deal fell apart and the Miami deal won’t happen unless Pat Riley ponies up some draft picks and a massive trade exception.
Odds are still high that Bosh ends up here, but he might have to take a little less money or a third team will have to be added to the deal. Miami had hopes of combining Wade and Bosh, but those dreams are in danger of being dashed. In fact, Wade has been visiting a number of other teams and could leave the sunshine state.
Verdict: Miami still looks like a possibility but Colangelo has made it clear that he won’t get taken to the cleaners. If Miami wants Bosh they are going to have to at least try to accommodate the Raps.
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls have dreams of building a super team with Bosh, Wade, Noah, and Rose. Unfortunately for Chicago, they need other teams in their conference to help them do it. A super team that looks like that would entice anybody. Lebron is also a possibility in the windy city, so it could get crazy in Chi-town.
Bosh likes the look of the city and how could you not want to play with a starting five that consists of those players? Again, max money will be hard to come by unless the Bulls are able to come to an agreement with the increasingly steadfast Colangelo. Unless the Bulls are able to offer up a player like Joakim Noah, I don’t think a deal gets done.
Verdict: The Bulls are all over the free agent market right now, but seem to be unwilling to give up any sort of asset to get these players. If Paxson doesn’t start to get serious about a sign and trade, the bulls could end up empty-handed. I do believe a compromise can be worked out between the Raps and Bulls that is somewhere between Taj Gibson, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. The Raps are right to hold out for something more lucrative in order to accommodate Bosh and an Eastern Conference rival.
Houston Rockets: This would be the Raptors most preferred situation and Houston is close to Bosh’s hometown. The Rockets were apparently the first ones on the “Bosh Scene” at midnight on July 1st. They love the idea of pairing Bosh with Yao Ming. That would be a pretty strong frontcourt. The Rockets also have a sea of assets that intrigue the Raptors including multiple first round picks and skilled players such as Aaron Brooks, Trevor Ariza and Luis Scola. The Raptors seem to be pushing Bosh towards Houston with their unwillingness to take the Bulls and Heat offers. Bosh would also end up out West, away from the Raptors in the Eastern Conference, and couldn’t come back to haunt them the way Vince Carter has in previous seasons.
Verdict: This is probably the best scenario if you are a Raptor fan. Bosh would bring back top dollar from the Rockets and we wouldn’t have to worry about “super teams” in Chicago or Miami. Not only that but Bosh would be out west where Raptor fans wouldn’t be taunted by his potential success. A definite possibility if Colangelo can stay strong and hold out for the best sign and trade deal.
New York Knicks: This is the least likely scenario, but if Bosh is looking for fame and money New York could be his best option. There is every likelihood that Wade and Lebron will return to their current teams leaving the Knicks out in the cold. They would then put all of their energy into saving face with their fans and throw the moon at Chris Bosh. Bosh has given every indication that he wants the moon this offseason. So the Knicks might be a good fit.
Verdict: Unlikely, but possible as other dominos begin to fall. A rumored Lee for Bosh sign and trade was talked about during the season and could be a deal Colangelo considers. Not the best news if you are a fan of defense, but a possibility nonetheless.
Los Angeles Lakers: This was a team considered quite a bit during the year. Every Raptor fan with access to the internet has posted about a potential Bynum for Bosh deal. The deal would strengthen the Lakers considerably and would give Bosh access to the thing he craves even more than a championship : attention. He would be close to his buddy Jay Leno and he wouldn’t have to become the focus of the offense with Bryant and Gasol around. He could be a key to returning the championship to L.A. for a thrid straight year.
Verdict: A bit of a pipe dream if you’re a Raptors fan as Bynum would be a beast in the East. A great idea, in theory, but one that is unlikely to materialize. Los Angeles won the championship with their current roster and they don’t really need to bulk up with another max contract. Bynum has potential to be as good, or better than Bosh in the long-term. A long shot at best.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Playing with Lebron would be a dream come true for Bosh. He would benefit from being a secondary option and playoff berths would be plentiful. But, he would be playing in Cleveland. If Bosh wants exposure and media attention, surely Cleveland isn’t the route to go. Rumours indicate Bosh has no desire to play in Cleveland, but would love to play with Lebron elsewhere.
Verdict: Unlikely because of Bosh’s desire to be a media mogul or some such nonsense. Playing with Lebron? yes. Playing with Lebron in Cleveland? Not so much.
Toronto Raptors: Yes, there is still a glimmer of a hope that Bosh will return to the Raptors next season. The Raptors can offer more money than anyone else and Colangelo seems steadfast in his desire to get a decent deal for Bosh, should he move to a new team. If Bosh can’t get his money elsewhere, he might stay and collect it in Toronto. This becomes even more likely if Lebron and Wade stay with their current teams. Joe Johnson was rumoured to be on the move and he ended up staying, it could be in Bosh’s and his agent’s best interest to stay where he is a focal point of the offense and where he can get the most money.
Verdict: Borders on never going to happen, but there is a possibility that Colangelo’s game of hardball brings CB4 back to the ACC. A long shot at best, but still possible.
In the end, I believe in my heart of heart that Bosh will end up elsewhere this offseason and the next time Toronto fans see Bosh on the court, it will be in a uniform other than a Raptors one. My hope is that Colangelo is able to orchestrate a deal that will land the Raptors young players or financial assets that will benefit the team going forward. So far, Bryan has shown that he won’t be taken to the cleaners by the Pat Riley’s and Paxon’s of the world. Hopefully a deal will materialize that gives Bosh the riches he so covets and the assets the Raptors will need to take a step forward.
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***Kristoffer Pedlar The Zan Tabak Herald