In my previous article I previewed the Raptors' upcoming season, and in that article I briefly touched on the potential of CB4 returning to Toronto. In this article I would like to further elaborate on this and discuss whether or not the Raptors' franchise player will return.
With training camps underway, the main question swirling around Toronto is and probably will be for the whole season: Will Bosh be back?
Miles away from the much smaller and less mature player Bosh was when he entered the league in 2003, he may arguably be the second best player potentially available in 2010. Many teams want Bosh, and I am sure many teams think they have a shot at signing the super athletic forward. But is it Toronto that still has the best chance?
Many quotes have been thrown around, many mixed messages from Bosh himself. But in the end it will all come down to Toronto's performance this season.
Many analysts believe that the 6'10" power forward all-star is a lock to jump ship come season's end. However, this isn't necessarily the opinion of Bosh's teammates
In a previous interview given by the Toronto Sun, Raptors' point guard, and good friend of Bosh, Jose Calderon was quoted as saying: "He said to me, and he's a good friend," added Calderon, "that he's happy in Toronto."
In the same interview fellow big man Andrea Bargnani was also quoted with some optimism: "I'm not worried about (Bosh leaving)," Bargnani said. "He loves Toronto."
No doubts about it: Both Bargnani and Calderon were right when they mentioned Bosh's love for the city of Toronto. But it is not a substitution for winning.
Now with the main core of the team (Calderon, Bargnani, and Turkoglu) all signed long-term with new up-and-comer DeRozan, the Raptors do look like a team that can compete, and get stronger as each year goes by.
But it is going to come down to whether or not Bosh is buying that Toronto will not be just a threat to make the playoffs, but a threat to excel in the playoffs and potentially win a championship. Hedo, Jose, and Bargs are all aware of the pressure on them to make sure Bosh wants to stay back and you can rest assured that those players will do all they can to keep Bosh wearing red and white.
Another good friend now on roster with Toronto is Jarret Jack. Bosh and Jack were teammates at Georgia Tech for one season and have been said to be best friends during their times there, although this is probably not the main reason that Jack was signed. It is a healthy indicator to have a good friend playing alongside Bosh; those two should be a pleasure to view on the court together.
Bosh is probably still on the edge of the fence, and I expect his decision will not be made pre-deadline—probably not even until after the playoffs end. But if I were a Knicks fan, I wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket.
There is the possibility of Bosh being a free agent in 2010. But with Bryan Colangelo working his magic, and the entire Raptors roster playing not only to win this year, but to keep their leader for years to come, Raptors fans may be able to sleep a little easier.