That was indeed the word “if” that I heard in connection with Hedo Turkoglu’s return when replaying the tape of Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo’s postmortem.
Good luck foisting that contract on somebody, but there are people around the team who believe Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will force him to take on whatever contract he needs to in order to get rid of Turkoglu, especially after a column this week in the Toronto Star suggested the Raptors play off the court with more zest than they do on the court – which would explain some things.
Just a hunch here, but my guess is their only European starter next season is Andrea Bargnani.
Today’s player analysis will focus upon the Toronto Raptors primary point guard, numero ocho, Jose Calderon. The 2009-10 campaign was Jose’s fifth full season in the Association, and unfortunately for Jose and the Raptors it was one to forget. For the second year in a row, Calderon found himself sidelined by nagging injuries, that either kept him off the court or made him even more of a liability to keep on the court when he was available. Back in 07-08 it was Jose’s ability to blow to the bucket, and genuine love and intensity for the game of basketball that allowed him to steal the starting job from TJ Ford. In the 09-10 campaign it was similar qualities shown by Jarrett Jack, and a lack of those same characteristics from Jose -that allowed Jarrett to steal the spotlight Jose once called his own. Let’s take a look at Jose’s stats:
He was supposed to be the man that made Chris Bosh stay in Toronto, the guy that would take the Raptors to the next level but instead became the butt of jokes and a dead-weight contract.
This is not all his fault. The Raptors have not utilized him in the role he thrive in with Orlando. In Orlando, he was able to play a quasi-point forward position, and his impressive ball handling skills were on display as he led the Magic in an unlikely trek to the Finals.
However, with Toronto, he has played without the ball in his hands and has been relegated to a more secondary role with the team, which has done wonders in hurting him.
While Toronto’s style has certainly put a damper on his production, he is also to blame. He has continued his policy of not playing defense, and seems unconcerned with the outcome of many games. His shooting percentage is down to 41 percent, and his inconsistency is frustrating many Toronto fans.
Bosh isn’t just a contract-year anomaly. Bosh has averaged 22.8 points and 9.9 boards during the past five seasons. Teams are willing to pay to attract talent at this level. Pay in dollars, and pay in talent.
It is possible that all of the other 29 NBA teams put offers on the table to attract the services of Chris Bosh. But not all of them will and not all of them should.
However, some teams have bet their immediate futures on attracting an All-Star free agent to their team for the 2010-11 season, and others will simply see this as an opportunity to lock up one of the league’s stars for the next six years.
But which NBA team has something to offer that could possibly make Raptors fans forget they just lost their franchise player and look forward to next season themselves?
Here is a look at 10 possibilities that might help.
Bosh stated in a news conference after the season was over that he didn’t care about big markets, money, or anything as much as winning. He also said that he wants to be the number one guy for the team he’s playing for.
So what does this mean for the Raptors? Do they just give up and start rebuilding? They can actually become a contender if General Manager Bryan Colangelo plays his cards right. The Raptors’ core is pretty good, but Bosh needs some help. If Bosh wants a contender, why not give him one?
Here are some things that need to happen in order to convice Bosh to stay in Toronto.
If Stoudemire does return to Phoenix, there is a good chance that either Chris Bosh or Carlos Boozer will end up in Miami. It also means the chances of David Lee returning to the Knicks increases, although the sense is that Donnie Walsh doesn’t want to spend more than $10 million per season on Lee.