Think back to when you were young, and it was Christmas morning. There's a big box with your name on it, and you're really excited. It could be that Nintendo 64 you were asking for! But it also could be an Easy Bake Oven, which is the opposite of anything you've ever asked for.
Now, the upcoming 2009-2010 season for the Toronto Raptors is the big box, and the Nintendo 64 is the second round of the playoffs.
The Easy Bake Oven is a dismal season, and Chris Bosh not signing with the Toronto Raptors.
As odd as that comparison may sound, it makes sense and all of it is a possibility.
Chris Bosh wants to be on a championship-caliber team. He's been vocal about it. But say the Raptors fall short this season, do not meet Bosh's expectations, and he bolts.
What are the effects on the Toronto Raptors?
I've divided them into four main categories: Fan-base, Offense, Defense, Locker Room.
If you see a person wearing a Toronto Raptors jersey, it will most likely be No. 4. Chris Bosh is the face of this franchise. If he leaves, will the fans? Who will take his spot?
Can Bargnani step up and become a franchise player, or will Hedo Turkoglu be portrayed as T.O.'s main man?
Bargnani is growing, and is in line for his breakout year, but it could also be hard for him with all the pressure.
Hedo Turkoglu will be in decline as he ages, and putting the franchise on his shoulders is only going to disappoint and hurt the fan-base even more.
Chris Bosh is the offensive leader of this team and has been since Vince Carter left. Subtract a 20 point per game player and replace him with Reggie Evans, and you aren't going to win many games.
To continue to succeed, the Raptors need the offensive force Bosh brings to the table night in and night out. As other players around the franchise grow, you still need a strong reliable player who will deliver. Subtract Bosh from the offense in Toronto, and you're are left with very little.
Chris Bosh has little post-game, but he makes due and can still score. Hedo Turkoglu is very much a spot-up shooter, and so is Bargnani. Jose Calderon is a small weapon on offense as well. Relying on jump shooters doesn't win championships.
Chris Bosh is not a huge defensive presence, and never has been. He's mediocre, but also has to deal with Calderon's lack of defense, which causes Bosh to look bad and pick up fouls.
Losing Bosh wouldn't be earth-shattering to the already sad defense the Raptors "play," but he has an ability to handle the best and control them. He is usually given the task of defending the best big man on the opposing team and does a respectable job.
Handing Bargnani the reigns on defense would be risky, as he could either step up or be the weak point of the defense. That being said, the game is shifting away from big men to being the main scorer, so the threat isn't as big as it used to be.
In my opinion, Chris Bosh is not a leader. He doesn't hurt the chemistry of a team, but he isn't doesn't play a major role like a Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, or Kobe Bryant by any standard.
Bosh is a positive influence to his teammates, but the Raptors will survive without him. Rarely has Bosh fired up the troops and helped Toronto churn out a comeback. Bosh loves the game, but bringing energy is not something he does very often.
Whether Chris Bosh re-signs with the Raptors or not, it has been a great run. Many fans are looking forward to next season, and Bosh seems to be excited, too.
This is just my opinion on the effects of the Raptors. Comments and criticism are welcome, but no personal attacks—I cannot stand it, and in the words of Jack Armstrong, "Get that Garbage outta here!"
Thanks for the read, and please share your opinions too!