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Houston’s pitch to Chris Bosh

Last Friday, Chris Bosh used his Twitter page to ask his fans where he should play and why. Some see the move as harmless, while others think he’s out of line for baiting his fans like that. The truth is probably somewhere in between. With the playoffs in full swing — and Bosh sitting at home — I suspect he was missing the limelight a little bit and needed the ego boost.

Regardless, the move confirms that Bosh is seriously considering changing zip codes this summer and Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle suggests that the Rockets can put together one hell of a pitch for the native Texan.

Chris Bosh will open his front door at 12:01 a.m. July 1 and see a smiling Daryl Morey standing between Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming.

How’s that for a first impression?

Just to be clear, Justice doesn’t know that this is the plan, but if it is, that would be a pretty serious pitch. While most of the other teams with cap space — Miami, New York, Chicago, in particular — will be chasing after LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Houston may be the only team that has Bosh at the top of its list. And that may go a long way with Bosh, who has said in the past that he is the kind of player a franchise can build around.

The presence of Olajuwon and Yao would give a glimpse of the franchise’s past and potential future. Olajuwon won back-to-back titles in the ’90s while Yao is the big center that Bosh has always wanted to play with. (Remember, he thinks of himself as a power forward, not a center.)

The issue with the Rockets is that they don’t have any cap space and can’t sign Bosh outright. But if they can convince him to come to Houston, then the Rockets can then work out a deal with Toronto that is mutually beneficial. Marc Stein has a few ideas:

One source, offering one small example, says that the Raptors are intrigued by young forward Jordan Hill, whom the Rockets extracted from the Knicks in the Tracy McGrady three-way deal in February.

As a (reasonably) big-market team — with low-key cornerstones like [Kevin] Martin and Aaron Brooks, and a franchise player in Yao Ming who might not be a franchise player any more after being forced to sit out an entire season — Houston can also offer the stage and go-to guy spotlight Bosh covets.

Yet it’s believed that the Raptors, if Bosh indeed proves willing to join the Rockets via sign-and-trade, will try to foist Hedo Turkoglu on Houston as part of the deal. Would the Rockets be willing to take on Turkoglu’s contract ($43.8 million over the next four years) and surrender, say, Trevor Ariza in return to clinch Bosh’s arrival? The cost of adding Bosh along with Turkoglu would likely be prohibitive for the Rockets, but Toronto certainly figures to try.

Would the Rockets take on Turkoglu’s contract if it meant they would get Bosh? Why not? Shane Battier’s presence makes Ariza expendable, and since the Rockets are over the cap, they would have to come up with a deal that would be beneficial to the Raptors. Hill plus Ariza for Bosh doesn’t sound that great for Toronto, but a first round pick (or two) plus the salary cap relief of having Turkoglu’s salary off the books might be enough to convince the Raptors to pull the trigger.

As for Bosh, I’d suspect that he’d be intrigued with the idea of starting alongside Yao, Battier, Brooks and Martin. That would be a potent starting five.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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