Coon points out there is only one other option if the Thunder was sold on acquiring Boshís services ó a sign-and-trade with Toronto. Under league rules, teams can sign their own free agents with the sole intent of trading them. But itís a complicated maneuver in which both teams and the player must agree to a deal. It would require the Thunder to include roughly $6.6 million in the deal and likely mandate a few more assets for the rights to Bosh.
"But it could work out to everyoneís advantage,Ē said Coon, a computer scientist and information technology director with the University of California-Irvine by day. "Bosh gets a bigger contract by signing with Toronto, OKC gets a player they canít otherwise afford, and Toronto gets something back for a player theyíd otherwise lose for nothing.Ē
That kind of deal, however, would blow up Oklahoma Cityís cap status with a likely maximum extension for Kevin Durant kicking in before the start of the 2011-12 season and a high-dollar deal for Russell Westbrook being tendered a year later. It remains to be seen whether Thunder management is willing to test its small market revenue and splurge on a luxury-tax level payroll.
Another potential concern whether Bosh would even fit with the teamís current nucleus is available points. With Durant, Westbrook, Jeff Green and James Harden, the Thunder already has four young players capable of posting 20 points on any given night.
"Bosh is a great player, an All-Star,Ē said Green, the incumbent power forward who would be affected most by the addition of Bosh. "You never know how he would fit in because heís a guy who demands the ball. Heís a great player, but who knows what will happen. Thatís not up to me to say that heíll fit great here because Iím still here.Ē
Durant said he thinks Bosh would fit from a chemistry standpoint because the Thunder is filled with "likeable guys.Ē But despite the current difference in their statistical production, Durant said he views Green and Bosh as similar players.
"Jeff is on his way to that,Ē Durant said of Green. "Itís only his third season, and heís playing phenomenal for us. Heís a guy just like that with versatility to go inside and out. He causes different matchup problems and makes it easier for everybody on the floor. So thatís who we look at to be that kind of guy.
"But Iím glad we have the guys we have here. And weíre all young, so Iíd like to see our core grow.Ē