Kyrie Irving

Healthy Pessimism

Chris has agreed to work closely with Bryan Colangelo to return value to the team if he bounces. Don’t be fooled though Raptors fans, this means Bosh is firmly in the driver’s seat. Bosh has likely gone through every scenario in his head thus far. "Should I go to Miami?" "Should I push Wade to come to TO?" "Should I be the man in Chicago?" etc. If Bosh decides to bail he will tell BC which teams are suitable for him, and not the other way around. If he doesn’t like the way things are going, he can simply walk and sign wherever he wants to. I read an article the other day suggesting BC should try and pawn off Turkoglu on whatever team lands Bosh. If you were Chris Bosh, would you be ok with that? I didn’t think so. Bosh is one hell of an asset, so if he does decide to bolt, the situation in Raptors land will not be so bleak. Here’s a rundown of possible sign and trade scenarios:

Bleacher Report

Generally regarded as the most talented international prospect in this draft, Donatas Motiejunas fits in logically with the Toronto Raptors. The Raptor’s roster is laden with international players with defensive concerns and Donatas fits that description to a tee. Motiejunas shares certain strengths with Andrea Bargnani, but is left-handed, more athletic and is capable of creating his own shot.

Bleacher Report

At 26 years old, it is time for Chris Bosh to become the leader many have projected him to be for years now or admit that it is not in him and accept the second banana role.

If it’s the second banana role, at least take one last shot at being the second banana in Toronto before heading out.  Try and convince the next future leader for the Raptors to come here.

Strong arm the Raptors GM into making the pitch for Dwyane Wade to come to Toronto and join you in creating the next NBA dynasty; because the Toronto Raptors have what Dwyane Wade wants .

Wade joining Bosh in Toronto is more likely to produce what both players want than a move in the other direction to a Heat team that has virtually no players left on it.

And if Wade isn’t moving, make the pitch for Colangelo to bring in a different player that will take the Raptors to the next level.  Raptors fans would like to see their team strengthened coming into next season and so should the management and Bosh.

Houston Chronicle

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?

Morey will have a bag of other goodies, including a video showing off Houston and a testimonial from Rockets season-ticket holder Andre Johnson urging Bosh to join him in Clutch City.

There will be hundreds of Facebook and Twitter posts from fans, a Rockets jersey with Bosh’s name on it and — I almost forgot this teensy-weensy part of the presentation — a contract worth $120 million.

At least, this is how it might go. The Rockets haven’t decided who will accompany Morey to the presentation, but they have spent the last few weeks discussing how best to persuade him.

Here’s guessing Rockets owner Leslie Alexander appeals to Dream and Yao to be part of the recruiting process and that they both agree.

At the heart of the issue is, first, persuading Bosh to play for the Rockets. If they’re able to do that, everything else almost certainly will fall into place. That’s why the Rockets are spending so much time and energy coming up with the right recruiting pitch.

TSN

Change the franchise’s name to the Huskies.  Do it as soon as possible, too.

Ask any hoops fan that has a vested interest in the Toronto franchise and they’ll agree – at least every fan that I’ve spoken to in recent weeks.

No one rocks a Raptors jersey or cap on the streets, but I’ve seen a lot of dudes sporting Huskies gear.  What NBA free agent says, "I want to be a Raptor!" They’re slim and none, unless they get crazy He-dough.

The Huskies represent an acknowledgement of the past, along with far more of a Canadian flair.  And if nothing else, Huskies sell.

Don’t tell me people would complain.  I think it would be overwhelmingly supported if MLSE recognized the switch would do nothing but good.

Besides, the uniforms would be more in line with the Toronto market.  The Maple Leafs, Argos, and Jays all wear blue and white. No more of the purple, pinstripe, red, and black jerseys that have brought nothing but frustration for the most part.

Bleacher Report

Which brings us to this: Chris Bosh should be the best player in free agency. It just doesn’t seem that Bosh wants to stay in Toronto. The last time the Raptors made the playoffs was the 2007-08 season.

And with Bosh, the Raptors have never made it past the second round of the playoffs. This gives us a sign that Bosh should be leaving or participate in a sign-and-trade. Many teams should be done for that.

A lot of teams have spread interest like the Heat (mentioned earlier), New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and more. Bosh can shoot well, make plays, and can score/rebound. He’s easily one of the Top 5 PF’s in the game right now.

Bosh, without question, should be hailed as the No. 1 player entering free agency this year.

Zan Tabak Herald

As a Raptor fan, nothing gets my blood boiling more than seeing a former member of the team perform really well with another uniform on.  Now don’t get me wrong there are certain players that I enjoy seeing do well.  Players who left on positive terms and who have found success with other squads I can cheer with.  But those that we traded away or foolishly let go leave me throwing the remote at the Flat screen.

This year there have been numerous former Raptors playing large roles for their teams in the playoffs.  Some are still in it, fighting to win the ultimate prize.

Let’s look at some of the hottest playoff performers,that happen to be former Raptors.

Sports On The Brain

There is no other way to describe this season for the Raps, than to say it was an unmitigated disaster. Years of poor drafting, doomed this franchise to middling status and forced GM Bryan Colangelo to put all his chips in the middle for Hedo “I chose Toronto over a better team in Portland because of the crazy Turkish nightlife” Turkoglu… Yeah! Turk-O-Glue turned out not to be the glue for a winning Toronto season. His numbers declined across the board from last season, he was benched for celebrating losses in nightclubs, and without Dwight Howard protecting the rim behind him, his defensive indifference was as obvious as his penchant for smoking three packs a day. Of course, his “ole” style D fit right in on a team that gave up 105.9 points per game and had the worst defensive efficiency in the league (110.2).

Now, even bad defenders can be hidden in good defensive schemes, so much of the Raps defensive shortcomings can actually be seen as coaching shortcomings and thus as much as it pains me to clamor for a Canadian’s job, I think the first step for the Raptors this summer is firing Jay “If I stand with my hands on my head, maybe they’ll try defending” Triano. The second step is… Chris “What should I eat for breakfast, better ask my twitter followers” Bosh.

The Picket Fence

Now, anyone who watched the Raptors knows defense was not an area of strength. Surprisingly, they were not at the bottom of the league in opponents field goal percentage (19th), but improvement is definitely needed if the Raptors hope to return to the playoffs.

As with the best defensive teams, where the Raptors have to start is their front line. I’ve railed against Bargnani quite a bit, but he’s not the only culprit. Turkoglu has only really been effective on defense when he’s had the Defensive Player of the Year playing behind him. He does not in Toronto. And while Bosh is an above average defender, he’s not a defensive anchor.

Now, you may say that it was Toronto’s perimeter defense that really hurt the team, starting with Calderon. While his defense was, at times, horrible, one of the reasons it looked so bad was because the Raptors team defense was awful. And team defense starts with your front line.

The highest percentage shots in basketball are taken in the paint and without a good defensive front line, even a team with good perimeter defenders are not going to stop a team from getting easy baskets. And good defense also means good rebounding. If you can’t keep a team off the offensive boards, you’re not going to win many games. That’s part of playing defense.  And it’s mostly your front line that is going to control the boards.