Does Chris Bosh want out of Toronto?

The answer is yes, according to Stephen A. Smith. Bosh has apparently told the team he doesn’t have any interest in staying in Toronto, and Smith said that Miami and Dallas were likely suitors in a possible trade.

Bosh’s contract runs through the 2009-10 season, so he is one of the members of the vaunted free agent class of 2010. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is no dummy, so his first step will be to try to convince Bosh to stay. If that fails, there’s a chance that the team could move him before the trade deadline, which is about three weeks away. They should be able to get more for Bosh now than during the offseason since whatever team trading for him will have his services for the remainder of this season and the playoffs.

Smith mentioned the Heat and the Mavericks as possible trade partners. Miami’s major trading chip is Shawn Marion, but he’s in the final year of his contract and most of the league seems to be unwilling to pay him what they believe he is going to ask this summer. For that reason, trading for the Matrix is a dicey proposition. In Dallas, Josh Howard would presumably be the centerpiece of a deal for Bosh, though he has now stated publicly that he wants to stay in Dallas.

One team that should put a trade offer together is the Cleveland Cavaliers. They do have Wally Szczerbiak’s expiring contract ($13 M), so the Raptors could get immediate salary cap relief. They could package Wally’s contract with J.J. Hickson and two or three future first round picks and see if the Raptors bite. It would be a heck of a lot easier to re-sign LeBron if Bosh were already in Cleveland.

I’d also like to see the Bucks make a play for the talented power forward. Would the Raptors take Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva for Bosh? I realize that Bosh would be unlikely to re-sign unless the Bucks vaulted into the top four in the East, but with a starting lineup of Ramon Sessions, Charlie Bell, Richard Jefferson, Bosh and Andrew Bogut, that would be one of the better teams in the East.

I really don’t know what happened to the Raptors. After re-signing Jose Calderon to a long-term deal, acquiring Jermaine O’Neal to help down low, and the emergence of Andrea Bargnani as a legitimate scorer, the Raptors should be a lot better than they are. They’ve already lost two in a row and they have the Lakers, Cavs and Hornets coming up in a brutal three-game stretch. And now the news breaks that their franchise player doesn’t want to return.

Things are bad in Toronto.

2/2 Update: Bryan Colangelo says the rumors about Bosh not wanting to re-sign with Toronto are untrue.

“It isn’t true,” said Colangelo. “It’s a complete fabrication.”

“It’s a non-story. Stephen A. got a little carried away. I’ve e-mailed him to talk about it but he’s in bed with the flu. Maybe the basketball Gods have something to do with that. I don’t know where that story came from.”

It will be interesting to see what Smith has to say about this. He didn’t cite a source or act like he was breaking a story; he just said that Bosh has already told the team he doesn’t want to return as if it were common knowledge. I’d like to see Smith defend himself here.

2/3 Update: Chris Bosh speaks out about the story.

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