"Chris Bosh has no desire to stay in Toronto" says Stephen A. Smith, in which Chris Bosh replies "No, no, no... I understand people are entitled to an opinion, but making stuff up...Let's all be fair".
This off the heels of Jalen Rose's comments that "there is no way Chris Bosh will be in Toronto in 2010" has Toronto Raptor fans, as well as a few Bosh would-be suitors in a frenzy.
Who knows who is correct here in this he said/he said turned PR battle? Both Chris Bosh and Brian Colangelo quickly denied the rumors, and one would have to side with the individuals personally involved over ESPN "analysts" (I use the term analysts lightly).
However, in reality it doesn't really matter as the inevitable fact remains. Chris Bosh will be an unrestricted free agent along with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Dirk Nowitzki (player option) in 2010-11.
As the NBA world would very much like to fast forward a year and a half if it could to figure out what will happen for 2010-11, here are a few scenarios involving all of these players that could accelerate the whole process.
1) Chris Bosh, Anthony Parker, and Joey Graham to the MIAMI HEAT for Shawn Marion, Michael Beasley, and the Miami Heat's first round pick in the 2009 and 2010 drafts.
The contract's work again ($21,409,000 and change for Bosh/Parker/Graham vs. $21,494,000 for Marion/Beasley). With Parker, Graham, and Marion all off the books next season this trade is all about Bosh for Beasley.
Though Beasley has tremendous upside, the Heat could not turn down a Bosh/D-Wade combination. The removal of Beasley's escalating lottery pick contract also makes a Wade/Bosh combination much more realistic for the Heat as well.
The two first-round picks would be nowhere near the lottery and not be much of a loss for the Heat. Again, there is an assumption a new contract is worked out for Bosh.
The Raps get a guaranteed contract in Beasley, and a player with a lot of upside. If Brian Colangelo believes Chris Bosh will leave in 2010, getting Beasley in return would be respectable compensation.
On potential he could slide in behind Andrea Bargnani as the long-term No. 2 or No. 1B option. The Raptors would leave themselves with two first-round picks in the '09 draft, as well as a lot of cap room. Again, a good situation for Brian Colangelo. Bargnani, Beasley, Calderon, two first round picks, and a lot of cap room is a good situation for the Raptors.
2) Chris Bosh, Jason Kapono, and Kris Humphries to the NEW YORK KNICKS for David Lee, Stephon Marbury, and the Knicks' 1st round pick in the 2009 and 2010 drafts.
Though on the surface this trade looks completely one-sided in the Knicks' favor, examining it in more depth doesn't necessarily prove that to be the case.
First off, the contracts work. Bosh/Kapono/Humphries total $23,395,000 and change for this season with Lee/Marbury totaling $23,725,000 and change.
With the Knicks looking to land two of the big three between LeBron, Wade and Bosh, this trade gives them a head start. The idea of LeBron and D-Wade going to the same city is unlikely (same position and both require the same number/types of shots), so Bosh paired with one of them makes much more sense.
Also, Bosh's hybrid PF/SF skills gives Mike D’Antoni a better "fit" in his run-and-gun system than even David Lee has provided thus far. The Knicks do take on a couple of unattractive contracts in Kapono ($6.2 mill in '09-10, $6.6 mill in '10-11) and Kris Humphries ($3.2 mill '09-10, $3.2 mill '10-11), however, it's already widely speculated that with LeBron and possibly Bosh in NYC, the Knicks will have no issues with paying into the luxury tax.
An assumption that a Bosh contract is in place is necessary here for the Knicks...
As for the Raps, this trade turns the keys over to Andrea Bargnani as the No. 1 option. Though he is not currently ready for that role, the pressure would be off for now as this trade would be a clear rebuilding move.
The Raps would have a front court of Bargnani and David Lee and when examining their styles this actually is a better fit long-term. Though Andrea has developed his inside game (4.27 FT attempts per since Jan. 2nd), his game is still largely based on the perimeter.
Lee gives the Raps a purer post threat over Bosh, while at the same time gives them an upgrade on the defensive side of the ball. He is a glue guy/fan favorite type that Brian Colangelo can probably count on long-term and his restricted tag next season should (in Toronto) lead to a contract. Bosh's lack of defense has hurt the Raptors, make no mistake about it, and his offensive loss would be mitigated with a defensive gain.
Marbury's contract would be off the books and along with Bosh's $15 million off as well the Raptors would be a player this offseason in the free agent pool. Brian Colangelo would also have two potential lottery picks to do with what he pleases.
3) Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker to the DALLAS MAVERICKS for Dirk Nowitzki, Brandon Bass, and the Mavs' first round pick in 2009.
Contracts are $18,960,000 and change for Bosh/Parker versus $18,904,000 and change for Dirk/Bass. Dallas gets their guy. The "Dirk" era in Dallas was a great one, but he'll be 32 when he can impose his free agency after the 2009-10 season.
A younger hometown Bosh meanwhile is everything that Mark Cuban and all Mavs fans should want, and letting Dirk go now is very realistic with Bosh the prize. You would think re-signing him would be a lock.
For the Raps the move could be questionable, but Dirk of all the big-time free agents could be the most likely fit in Toronto. A season and a half in Canada could be very appealing for the Euro, and with Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal out of the picture the Raps could even throw Dirk more money than most others.
Another angle is the impacts as a mentor Dirk would have for his potential re-incarnate Andrea Bargnani. The two have been compared to one another from day one and who better for Bargnani to learn from?
Even if Dirk leaves after '09-10, a season and a half of tutelage for Bargnani could be value enough to only leave Brian Colangelo with a mid-range first-round pick for Bosh when it's all said and done.
Of the three, this scenario is the least favorable for the Raptors if they would be unable to keep Nowitzki long-term. Still, if Bosh is already "gone", and no other deals are on the table, moving him now in this scenario instead of another offseason and most likely tumultuous '09-10 would be wise.
It will be interesting to see if any major triggers are pulled as the NBA trade-deadline approaches, and Chris Bosh moving could give everyone interested in the '09-10 offseason frenzy a glimpse into the future they've been looking for.