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Bosh Leaving Toronto

In the last couple of days, it’s been reported that Chris Bosh has given the Raptors a list of teams he’d like to play for next season. While this news has been denied by Bosh’s agent, it’s been confirmed by Raptors GM Colangelo. Colangelo’s confirmation seems like pretty strong evidence Bosh has requested a sign and trade because:

1. Confirming the existence of the list hurts Bosh’s image with Toronto’s fans. The fact that a list officially exists hurts Bosh’s standing with fans. Colangelo wouldn’t do that to his star player unless he felt like his chances of staying in Toronto were slim.

2. Colangelo is starting the sign-and-trade ball rolling. Now that NBA GM’s are aware Bosh can be had, it’s time for them to start calling Toronto and making a pitch to Colangelo. Obviously, the final move is up to Chris Bosh…but if someone calls and offers a superstar to Toronto to try and acquire Bosh, that’s going to help set the value for a sign-and-trade. The next question is…

Where Is Bosh Headed?

Here are the four teams Bosh supposedly wants to play for next year and my estimation of their chances of trading for him.

Chicago – Unless they’re willing to part with Joakim Noah, I think the other teams on this list can make a better offer. I suppose that Bosh could try and force his way to Chicago, but the best move for everyone is to work together. Without giving up Noah, the best players Chicago can offer are Hinrich (who Toronto doesn’t need), Deng (overpaid and also a guy Toronto doesn’t need), and then a nice inexpensive young PF (Gibson or Johnson). Granted, Chicago can throw some picks at Toronto, but so can most of the teams on this list.

Lakers – This one makes a hell of a lot of sense if the rumors of Bynum’s availability are true. Bynum for Bosh is as close to a win-win as Toronto can get. Having said that, if the Lakers win the championship, why would they change their team? If the Lakers want to offer Bynum, they’ll have the best offer on the table.

Miami – Miami’s chances are better than Chicago, but they’re still sort of slim. Miami’s best trade pieces are Beasley and draft picks (including the 18th pick this summer). Miami shouldn’t be counted out – Beasley isn’t a bad return on Bosh – but it’s going to take pressure from Bosh to make this happen.

By the way – I could see Toronto packaging Calderon with Bosh if Miami gets involved…but Miami is going to have to sacrifice their draft picks for the next few years to get it done.

New York – The Knicks seem like a long shot to land Bosh in a sign and trade. Not only are they division rivals, but they don’t have a lot of talent they can send back. They’ve also given most of their draft picks away. One interesting wrinkle, however, could be trading both Bosh and Turkoglu for Curry and Gallinari.

  • If I’m running things in Toronto, the opportunity to dump Turk would be tempting, especially if I got a cheap young player of equivalent talent in return. Curry might actually be able to help Toronto, but if he can’t, it’s a small price to pay to be out from under Turk’s ridiculous deal.
  • If I’m running things in New York, I look at this deal because it helps me convince Joe Johnson to come to the Big Apple. Turk is overpaid for sure, but he’s also a mis-match SF who can help open up the middle.

In any case, I think the market for Bosh hinges on how the Lakers play in the Finals. If Gasol exhibits some new-found toughness, L.A. will consider sliding him over to center and bringing in Bosh. If not, it’s going to be hard to give up on Bynum…unless of course L.A. tanks against Boston, but I don’t think that will happen.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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