Chris Bosh’s wish list is revealing…

…and not in the way you might think.


Chris Bosh’s agent has told the Toronto Raptors that he’s narrowed his list of preferred teams to five, two sources told’s Chad Ford at the NBA draft camp.

The list of five teams — Toronto plus the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks, sources said — were given to Toronto management in case the Raptors want to construct a sign-and-trade deal (assuming he doesn’t re-sign with Toronto).

Bosh likes that option, sources told Ford, because he’d get one more year on his contract and could make more money.

I’m not sure why Bosh would give Toronto a list of sign-and-trade destinations that included the Raptors, but hey, sources are sources.

There are no real surprises there. The Bulls, Heat, Knicks and Lakers have long been rumored as possible landing spots for Bosh. But the absence of a few other teams — namely, the Nets, Rockets and Thunder — is a bit surprising.

In terms of potential sign-and-trade chips, each team on his list has at least one player the Raptors might want. Chicago has Luol Deng, though he’s a bit overpaid. The Knicks have David Lee, who would be a nice consolation prize if Bosh decides not to re-sign with Toronto. The Heat have Michael Beasley, but his stock continues to fall. And the Lakers have Andrew Bynum, but with his knee injuries, he’s not as enticing of a prospect as he was at the start of the season.

But here’s what gets me about this story, if it’s accurate — Bosh may want that extra year on his deal, but it’s going to be tough for a team that already has the cap space to sign him to have to take a big hit in young talent and draft picks as well. In fact, this strategy reveals that Bosh is more concerned with the size of his own paycheck than he is with the strength and potential of his new team. I realize it’s a lot of money, but when a player says over and over that it’s “all about winning” and then turns around and forces his new team to give up a couple of prospects and/or draft picks so that he can pocket an extra $30 million (and an extra year on the deal), then clearly he’s being disingenuous.

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Did Chris Bosh really say that he doesn’t want to play second banana?

Ric Bucher wrote the following in the ESPN rumors section:

…since Raptors PF/C Chris Bosh made it clear over All-Star weekend that he’s not interested in leaving Toronto to be the second banana elsewhere.

Here’s what Bosh actually said, courtesy of the Toronto Sun.

“I was just looking at what people say and it’s like: ‘Chris is going to go here and play with him or this, this and that.’ I’m like: Wait a minute. I feel like I should be built around. And maybe that’s just my ego talking, but I feel that I’m a very good player in this league and I’m only going to get better. So … maybe we should be getting somebody (in Toronto).”

From the what-did-he-mean-by-that portion of the program came this little tidbit from Bosh: “Things you like and dislike change daily,” Bosh said, “(which makes it) impossible almost to not only predict the future, but predict your feelings.”

How do you leave this exchange thinking that Bosh “made it clear that he’s not interested in leaving Toronto to be the second banana elsewhere”? To me, it sounds like a guy who is angry at the media for assuming that he’s leaving Toronto this summer. He suggests that the team should be “getting somebody” in Toronto, but the Raptors aren’t going to have any cap space for the next couple of summers — they did their “getting” last summer when they signed Hedo Turkoglu.

So if the Raptors finish the season with 44 or 45 wins and bow out in the first round of the playoffs, does anyone really think that Bosh isn’t going to think long and hard about playing elsewhere? Being “built around” is fine, but as history has shown, it takes two superstars to win a NBA championship, and the Raptors only have one.

Bucher is taking Bosh’s words as gospel — that he’s not leaving Toronto to play with LeBron or Wade elsewhere — but in the very same interview Bosh admits what he likes or doesn’t like changes daily, and says it’s impossible to predict the future. I have no problem if Raptor fans find comfort in Bosh’s words, but Bucher is making that extra leap by saying that Bosh has ruled out playing somewhere else, and that’s simply not what the man said.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Bosh to OKC? Unlikely.

While Art Garcia wonders on if a Jeff Green-for-Chris Bosh deal makes a lot of sense for both the Raptors and Thunder, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman thinks there is probably too much risk in trading for Bosh before the deadline.

The organization’s long-term motives have not changed, although Bosh certainly would fit the bill of a player that makes sense both now and in the future.

The problem is, trading for Bosh now doesn’t guarantee he’ll be around in the future. Acquiring Bosh would be a big-time risk that could blow up in July if he decides to bolt for, say, the beaches of Miami or Broadway in New York. The Thunder will have then traded valuable assets for nothing. It’s that risk that partially explains why Phoenix was unable to move Amar’e Stoudemire last season after all the fuss and trade rumors regarding where he’d land.

For the Thunder to pull the trigger on a Bosh trade, especially one that included promising youngster Jeff Green (who is averaging 14.0 points and 5.9 rebounds this season), they would have to feel like they had a great chance to re-sign him this summer. The weather in OKC is not as nice in Miami nor is the city as glitzy as New York (or even Chicago), but if Bosh wants to win, the Thunder are a great fit. Maybe a half season with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would be enough to convince him to re-sign, but what if it wasn’t? Then they would have lost Green and have nothing to show for it.

Bosh trade would alter NBA landscape

Of all of the big-name players that will become free agents this summer, Chris Bosh’s situation seems to be the most delicate. The Raptors are playing pretty well — they’ve won eight of their last 11 and are currently the #6 seed in the East — but it’s not clear what his threshold is for staying in Toronto. A postseason berth? It’s probably going to take more than that. 50 wins and an appearance in the Eastern Conference Semis? Maybe.

But with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade basically untradeable, and with Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire playing well on winning teams, Bosh’s situation is the most fluid.

Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo told Peter Vescey of the New York Post the following via email:

“For the record, I am not actively seeking a deal or discussing Bosh with any team, much less the Lakers.

“I haven’t traded him yet and our position has been the same. We will not make a deal just to make a deal. Our intention is to keep him here long term.

“Additionally, I have not yet offered an extension as Dwyane Wade and LeBron James both received [from their respective teams]. So technically he has not said no.

“I honestly don’t think C.B. knows what the future holds, or what he wants to do, so I would say we’re still in the game as far as his pending free agency.”

Colangelo’s language is interesting: “I haven’t traded him yet.” Yet. That means he’s open to trading him, right? The Raptors are under the gun because they face the prospect of losing Bosh with zero compensation this summer. The deal that Vescey discusses in his article is a Andrew Bynum-for-Bosh swap with the Lakers. That deal would be feasible in the summer if the teams executed a sign-and-trade with Bosh. Otherwise, I don’t know that there’s a scenario where Bosh would agree to a sign-and-trade because he’d be effectively decimating his future team. The Lakers are the exception due to the presence of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. The deal makes some sense because the Raptors would get a true center with All-Star potential to play alongside Andrea Bargnani, who would be able to play his natural position — power forward. For the Lakers, the deal makes sense because while Bynum has played well in spurts, he and Pau Gasol don’t work all that well together when they’re both on the floor.

Chad Ford writes (via TrueHoop) that other teams around the league are reacting to the news that Bosh might be on the move:

Read the rest of this entry »

Bosh to Houston?

There has been some Bosh to Chicago talk in recent days, and now Marc Stein says the Rockets are very interested in acquiring Toronto’s big man, even if they have no assurances that he’ll re-sign next summer.

What we did hear, though, is that the Houston Rockets have made it known that they would be willing to trade for Bosh immediately … even if they don’t get a guarantee they can re-sign him this summer.

Sources say the ever-aggressive Rockets are sure a half-season in Houston could convince the native Texan to pledge his long-term future to a city players love as well as a team that sits four games over .500 without the injured Yao Ming and the exiled Tracy McGrady.

This season’s success without marquee names also suggests that the Rockets have the requisite stash of assets — depending on whom they’re willing to surrender from a group that includes Aaron Brooks, Carl Landry, Trevor Ariza and Luis Scola — to assemble a legit deal for Toronto to consider. It’s likewise believed that Houston can put a decent package together without insisting that McGrady’s mammoth $22.5 million salary has to be part of it, which complicates matters even though it’s an expiring deal because so many more players have to be included to make the trade math work.

You figure Chicago, Miami and New York also are on the short list of teams that would be willing to risk trading for Bosh before we get to the summer. Those are the teams thought to have the best shot at signing him in free agency and could inherit Bosh’s Larry Bird rights with a deal before the deadline. None of them, though, can offer a better talent deal than Houston. The Heat and Knicks — with their heavily stripped-down rosters as the countdown continues to July 1 — can’t come close.

From a talent standpoint, I’m not so sure that Houston has the edge. They do have a number of good young pieces, but Miami’s Michael Beasley and the Knicks’ Danilo Gallinari would seem to have more upside than any of the Rockets mentioned. The Rockets do have more young talent overall than the Knicks or the Heat, so maybe they’ll be able to put a package together that will appeal to the Raptors. I’m sure Toronto would rather trade Bosh out of the Eastern Conference if possible.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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