As we approach our 10th game in this young NBA season, it’s no surprise that the talks of the upcoming 2010 offseason are already swirling.
You can’t come across a message board or a blog that doesn’t have five or six topics about where LeBron, Wade, Joe Johnson, and company will end up, or how much cap space certain teams have.
One of those impending free agents, though, is a guy some might consider to be in the “second tier” in terms of player quality, and that is Chris Bosh.
There are a lot of quality teams in this league, both good and bad, that could use a big man as versatile as Bosh; not that he’s the guy you sign to lead you to a title, but he is a guy you put next to another solid piece on your way to a title, and he is deserving of near max contract money (which means he will get max contract money).
Now, let's take a look at Bosh’s status as a player, his team's status, and what his options will be for the summer of 2010.
What Has He Done?
Bosh, like I alluded to earlier, is a player who will almost always fall in the categories of “second tier” or “complimentary player.” This is to say that he isn’t on the level of your true superstars like LeBron or Dwyane Wade, or even on the level of other big men such as Tim Duncan or Dirk Nowitzki.
However, this does not mean that Bosh isn’t a great player in his own right, and I think he gets a little under appreciated around the league.
Bosh is a player who has consistently put up 20 and 10 seasons, with the 20 sometimes going a little higher, and the 10 sometimes a little lower, but you get the gist.
He’s a versatile, lanky offensive player who runs the floor like a gazelle and has absolutely perfected the 18-foot jumper; he can attack the rim like a guard, and even occasionally back you down (although he doesn’t do this enough).
Another thing about Bosh is he is a very efficient player, never taking more than 16 field goal attempts a game for his career, en route to posting often scintillating True Shooting percentages that hover around 60.
His weaknesses lie in both his defense and his ability in the clutch; his man-to-man defense has vastly improved since his rookie year, but he too often comes late on pick and rolls and this kills him, and there have been numerous occasions where Toronto fans have blasted him for not being able to take the final shot of a game.
All this being said, Bosh is a three-time All-Star and perennial 20/10 power forward in this league, and those are a hot commodity.
What is He Doing?
Of course, all his career accomplishments are for naught when talking about this season, as this is the year where it will determine not only where he stands, but where the Raptors stand as a team.
Through the first 11 games, Bosh is playing like a mad man; he’s averaging 26 points and 12 boards on 50 percent shooting, and his added bulk is really paying off.
He appears to be doing everything in his power to will the team to victory, with mixed success so far, as the Raptors are muddling along at 5-6 heading into tonight’s contest in Utah.
General manager Bryan Colangelo went all out this off-season, dealing out large contracts to various players, including Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack, and extending centre Andrea Bargnani to the tune of 10 million per, in hopes to create a winning team to persuade Bosh to stick around.
The jury is still out, of course, on whether this will work or not, but one thing is for sure, Bosh is showcasing his talents to the league at a time when everyone is watching, and if the Raptors don’t pick it up, this could be very bad news for Toronto fans.
What Will He Do?
All right, so here comes the big question: Where does Chris Bosh sign in the 2010 off-season?
That being said, the Raptors themselves have a fair amount of cap space and would be able to re-sign Bosh this off-season should they (or he) desire.
Chicago, too me, seems like an interesting proposition for Bosh; there, he becomes the first option without question, and gets paired with an incredible young talent at point guard in Derrick Rose, and surrounded by several above-average types in John Salmons, Luol Deng, and Kirk Hinrich.
Would this core be any better off than the Raptors right now? Maybe slightly, but I really don’t think it’s too much of a gap to make Bosh want to sign there.
As for Miami, there is the always enticing option of playing with megastar Dwyane Wade, and a Bosh/Wade combination would definitely become a contender in the Eastern Conference, considering the remarkable defensive team Miami has put around Wade this year.
With another scoring option in Michael Beasley, and a nice young point guard in Mario Chalmers, I believe Miami is the best option for Bosh this offseason; and the weather isn’t too shabby, either.
When talking about New York and New Jersey, you have two teams with almost infinite cap space that are in the ultimate rebuilding mode right now.
The Nets have two solid pieces in place at point guard and at centre, while the Knicks are putting all there proverbial eggs into one large basket at this point, and I would have to write them off as a possible destination for Bosh, as there simply isn’t enough there to entice Bosh that he’d be going to a winning franchise.
New Jersey is a more interesting option, and a threesome of Devin Harris/Chris Bosh/Brook Lopez certainly does look daunting. I would chalk up New Jersey as the second best option for Bosh this off-season.
Now, looking at his own team, the Toronto Raptors. They have a solid enough core, with Jose Calderon at point, Hedo Turkoglu on the wings and Andrea Bargnani up front, to go along with some decent depth and a promising rookie in Demar Derozan.
All of these players will be there next season, so it’s really up to Bosh to determine if these are the guys he wants to play with for the next 5 to 10 years; the Raptors likely won’t win a championship anytime soon, so I wouldn’t blame Bosh if he bolted for greener pastures, even if the title hopes are the same, just to try something new.
All in all, it’s too early in this season to truly tell which teams are best marketed for a player like Bosh, but some certainly raise more of an eyebrow than others.
Toronto would miss Bosh dearly, and unfortunately, I get the feeling that he’s not particularly happy here anymore, even if we do make the playoffs.
He’s constantly quoted saying things like “I want to play for a contender,” which is fine, but it also shows he isn’t willing to grab the team by the collar and lift them to contender status. Don’t be surprised if you see Bosh in a different coloured jersey by the time next season rolls around.