Why a Sign-and-Trade for Chris Bosh Could Save the Raptors

Tyler PowerContributor IMay 27, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 28:  Chris Bosh #4 of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket between Wilson Chandler #21 and Al Harrington #1 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

When Chris Bosh's list of preferred teams was released, a collective sigh of relief could be heard all across Canada. After all, Bosh is the face of the Toronto Raptors; he is the heart.

But why don't we take a look at the bigger picture?

The Raptors are a squad that under-achieved. With all things held constant and with Bosh returning, the Raptors would still have major problems. Has the team chemistry improved? Absolutely not. As of a matter of fact, reports have indicated that Hedo Turkoglu is not very pleased with his situation in Toronto at all.

Problem No. 1 for Toronto right now is the massive contracts. Jose Calderon is set to make roughly double the salary of Jarret Jack for the 2010-2011 season, even though Calderon was outplayed by Jack on every meaningful occasion throughout the past season. Heck, even Marcus Banks will earn more than Jack.

Hedo Turkoglu, who will be a potential distraction, is set to make almost $10 million, and Reggie Evans is set to make $5 million.

Problem No. 2 for Toronto is the defense, both interior and at the perimeter. Players like DeMar Derozan and Andrea Bargnani showed signs of progression throughout the season, but still, Calderon struggled to stop penetration in the paint.

Problem No. 3 was the lack of toughness. This has nagged Toronto for years. Jermaine O'Neal was a quick fix, and Reggie Evans was a cheap substitute.

Chris Bosh really stepped up in this department. The moment that stands out in the minds of many Raptor fans is the tussle he had with Dwight Howard early in the season. But even with Bosh's improved toughness, the rest of the core continued to struggle in this regard.

As much as it may hurt Raptors fans to admit it, this upcoming offseason may just be the best chance for Toronto to address these issues, and set Toronto on a course to be considered legitimate contenders within the next five years.

Brian Colangelo is highly regarded among most Raptors fans. He is very proficient in making blockbuster trades happen. So, why not make a blockbuster sign and trade multi-team deal out of this?

If teams are going to be desperate enough for a superstar like Bosh, then it would be safe to assume that trading a player who once led his team to the NBA Finals and a player who once had the highest assist-to-turnover ratio in the league in the same package could be more than possible.

At least one of David Lee, Luol Deng, and Michael Beasley would be coming to Toronto. Any of which could add character, hustle, and toughness. Who else would come to Toronto? It would be left to Mr. Colangelo to crunch the numbers, but it is not far-fetched to think that Toronto could resolve most if its defensive and character woes in just one shot.

Without Bosh, the Raptors would be one hell of a different team. As great as he may be though, the difference could be for the better.