Sign-and-trade likeliest option for Colangelo with Bosh’s contract expiring
When Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo appeared before the media today, he delivered his message clearly:
The ball is in Bosh’s court.
Colangelo said all the right things about the “heartbreaking” end to the season and that there will be change in the summer. He said the Raptors need to “re-examine” if Jose Calderon can “co-exist” with his back-up point guard, a familiar post-season topic in Raptorland.
But the only thing that anybody really wanted to hear was whether or not Colangelo has any chance in hell in signing Chris Bosh to a contract extension and keeping him in Toronto.
Colangelo basically said it’s up to Bosh. His star power forward has two options: he could either accept the maximum he could get in a new contract from the Raptors and stay with the team, or he could sign the same max contract and give the Raptors a list of teams to trade him to.
In either case the Raptors avoid the third option, which is letting him walk in free agency and get nothing in return. Colangelo is too smart to let that happen.
Chris Bosh has been the face of basketball in not only Toronto, but the entire country of Canada since the Vince Carter trade. He was tasked with leading the franchise back to respectability (a.k.a. the playoffs) and he didn’t disappoint. But as much as he’s enjoyed his time in Toronto, Bosh looks to be ready to take on a new challenge.
Bosh has said that he is excited about the possibilities of the free agent market. It’s his first chance since college to choose for himself where he wants to live, raise a family and play for a championship. Don’t get me wrong, Bosh doesn’t have any problems with living in Toronto. He loves the city, loves its fans and loves its diversity. But if he was planning to stay in Toronto long-term, he definitely would have had a new contract signed with Colangelo before the start of the season.
Bosh currently is riding out a contract that will pay him $17.1 million and expire at the end of the season. He had an option to pick up a one-year extension on his contract, but he declined. In January, Colangelo made a last-ditch effort to get Bosh re-signed before the end of the season by offering him the maximum contract. He declined once again.
So the Raptors are now left hoping that Bosh will suddenly change his mind and accept the money to stay in Toronto. A much more likely scenario is Colangelo works out a sign-and-trade deal with another team, freeing up a bunch of cap space and receiving young impact players, prospects and draft picks in return.
That way, if Bosh doesn’t want to be a part of the future for the Raptors, they can at least get a head start on the rebuilding process without him. The franchise wasn’t afforded the same opportunity when Carter left for what amounted to a rack of balls and a left sneaker.
If it needs to be done, you can bet Colangelo will do it the right way.