I like your articles because theyre very impartial...and that sit down interview with CB4 was awesome! In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm from Canada. Just wondering if you can do an article on potential deals that the Raptors can do in case CB4 decides to leave in the summer. Could be about potential free agents that the Raps can sign, someone who would fit the current team and system if Bosh does not re-sign or possible sign-and-trade scenarios for CB4 that would be advantageous for the Raps.
I answer, Tobi, I want to make clear that this e-mail came from you, a Raptors fan, and was not concocted by me. That disclaimer is for all the Torontoites that always write in saying that all of us down here in the States keep assuming that Bosh will leave Toronto. I assume nothing of the sort, but am aware of the real possibility. Having said that, let me answer you.
Being capped out, Toronto can't sign any free agents other than with the mid-level exception, and there isn't any quality big man that the Raptors could probably entice (Dallas' Brendan Haywood has priced himself well above the mid-level with an outstanding season in his walk year, for example).
The worst-case scenario for Toronto, of course, is if Bosh bolts for cap room in either New York, Chicago or Miami, leaving the Raptors with nothing. The good news for Toronto, though, is that I'd think with decreases in player maximum salaries in the Collective Bargaining Agreement looming, Bosh and his agent would be much more inclined to agree to a sign and trade deal, which would get Bosh one more year of salary at the existing rates of increase (10 percent per year). And a sign-and-trade would obviously net Toronto some significant goodies in return for a five-time All-Star entering the peak of his career.
As long as we all agree we are deep into Fact-Free Speculation Country, who could be out there? The New York Post's Peter Vescey speculated on a Toronto-Lakers deal featuring Bosh and Andrew Bynum last month, and once Bynum's base-year compensation expires in July, such a deal would be relatively easy to put together. (A Bosh-Pau Gasol-Lamar Odom frontcourt would almost be unfair.) At 22, Bynum would certainly be fair compensation for the soon-to-be 26-year-old Bosh, and give the Raptors the low-post hub around which all their three-point shooting moons could continue to fire threes happily.
Portland always has the assets and the inclination to do big deals. A swap of LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Miller and, say, rookie Jeff Pendergraph for Bosh and a future first-round pick -- the Raptors owe Miami their first-round pick in 2010 as part of the Jermaine O'Neal-Shawn Marion swap last year -- would be mutually beneficial. (Toronto could then re-route Miller to a team like Washington, which will be in desperate need of a floor general next season. It would make sense for the Wiz because while Miller has two years and $15 million due, only next season's $7.2 million is guaranteed. And it would make sense for Toronto, because Washington could take Miller into its available cap room in exchange for a future pick, providing the Raptors with a humongous trade exception in return.)
I'd assume Minnesota would come calling, with its Ricky Rubio trump card, along with Al Jefferson and assorted other enticements, though I'd also assume the Land o' 10K Lakes would not be a preferred destination for Bosh, and it takes two to tango for a sign and trade. You'd also think Phoenix would make Amar'e Stoudemire available, though I suspect this would be low on Toronto's wish list and serve only as a last-ditch option.