So Dwyane, for all the renewed speculation about a Wade-LeBron free-agent pairing in 2010, what should be made of the Bosh-Wade bond under Thomas?
"The only thing about that is Henry is a big player in 2010 because he has two of the players that people are talking about and wanting," Wade said. "Besides that, it really has no other indication of anything."
But with the NBA’s pre-draft combine in Chicago last week, it did afford Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo face time with Thomas.
"I think more emphasis has been put on us meeting than is necessary," Colangelo told the Canada-based Globe and Mail. "It’s very routine. It’s not like I’m going to be coming out of the weekend with plans to trade or start drawing up an agreement for a contract extension."
Yet nothing is routine when a single agent holds the key to two teams’ futures. It is why Heat President Pat Riley acknowledged "other business" in Chicago last week beyond the combine, while declining to go into specifics.
The Raptors must decide whether or not to offer a no doubt huge contract to an unsettled Shawn Marion.
If they decide to abandon Marion to pursue his quest for respect/money/star status elsewhere, they simply must look to sign another superstar. Why? If they don’t Chris Bosh is leaving in 2010.
Another losing season like the one that Toronto has just experienced will all but secure his departure to greener pastures.
In all likelihood the Raptors will need to sign more than one ‘big’ player to help assuage Bosh‘s feelings. Luckily they do have options, if the money is available.
They could make a run at Carlos Boozer whose time as a member of the Utah Jazz could well be over. A Boozer/Bosh front court? Ummm. The Jazz, who also have Mehmet Okur, Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap to re-sign, will struggle to make an offer to Boozer which will satisfy his $100 million contract rumours.
The following is a listing of ten prospects the Raptors should give a very good look at, and where they’ll likely be drafted.
Some of these players will be drafted ahead of the ninth spot and the Raptors would have to trade up a few spots to nab them.
Others will be available later in the first round and could be had by utilizing the money acquired in the Jermaine O’Neal trade to buy a draft pick as team’s prepare for a declining economy.
9. Toronto Raptors – DeMar Derozan (SG/SF – USC)
With both Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion likely to leave the team, a swingman makes sense for the Raptors. So would a point guard, to provide insurance for Jose Calderon.
• Tyreke Evans, 6-6, 215, point guard, Memphis
• The skinny: Evans bolted from Memphis just time to join a Raptors team trying to retool in time to keep Chris Bosh.
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