Okay, it is now official. Bosh is going to Miami, probably the last place fans wanted him to go because of the lack of assets they could get back. Reality has a way of coming crashing through the window wrapped up in a Hummer being driven by a liquored up 85 year old grandmother with Alzheimer’s. After warning people for months at how little the Raptors will likely get back in a sign and trade for Bosh, even I started to drink the Kool-Aid a little, with visions of Derrick Favors dancing in my head. Unfortunately, that’s not to be.
So there are reports that Colangelo might refuse to do a sign and trade with Bosh. I can understand the reasoning behind it. Colangelo hasn’t been happy with how Bosh has handled his free agency and doesn’t want to do him any favours (no pun intended). I wrote a post talking about whether or not Colangelo should simply give Bosh a list of teams he would do a sign and trade with, and tell him to choose one, or he’d get no deal. Now, if Colangelo did that, and Bosh picked Miami anyway, then he should stick to his guns and refuse to deal. Colangelo looks bad enough. If he goes back on his threat, he’ll simply look gutless.
Now, if Colangelo didn’t make any such threat, then obviously doing a sign and trade with Bosh is the best option for the Raptors. The question is, what should the Raptors ask for back?
The three things that I think everyone can agree upon is Mario Chalmers, the Raptors draft pick back and a big trade exception. At this point, I’d be happy with just that. Since Bosh has already announced his intentions (he can’t sign anything until the 8th), Toronto is not exactly in any position to demand anything.
And then there’s Michael Beasley.
I’ve been against the notion of accepting Beasley back in a sign-and-trade mainly because he’s an awful fit for the Raptors. His lack of defense is the absolute last thing the Raptors need, especially if Bargnani stays on the team (please, no!). After a discussion I had on Raptors Republic, though I had, if not a change of heart, at least a moment of pause.
With the Raptors in a bad position in terms of negotiating, the idea of taking Beasley back might very well give the Raptors a little leverage in the negotiations. Beasley has offensive skills, to be sure, and in the right situation could average 20+ ppg. That situation is not Miami, however, and a guy who does little more than score is the last thing Miami needs at this point. They need role players who can defend their position and do the little things. That doesn’t describe Beasley.
Taking Beasley back would allow him to showcase his skills while being the first option, and give the Raptors an asset with the potential to increase in value. When rebuilding, it’s always best to get assets with increasing value. And because he’s not much of a defensive player, or a guy who’s going to do the little things, it’s not likely he’ll help the Raptors win any more games, anyway. If he does well, the Raptors have a piece they could use in a trade. If he doesn’t do well, the Raptors could simply not pick up his team option after the season.
So the question is what is Miami willing to give up in exchange for the Raptors taking on Beasley? Would they agree to accept Turkoglu in exchange? They could certainly absorb his contract and having a veteran like Turkoglu might help them, but I wouldn’t count on it. He’s not really a role player and needs the ball in his hands to be effective, something not likely to happen on a team with Wade. And would Bosh even agree to that? Still, I’d certainly take Beasley back for one season if it meant unloading Turkoglu.
And while I’m obviously in favour of keeping Calderon, I might be tempted to take Beasley and Chalmers back if Miami agrees to take him and his contract. Calderon works well with Bosh and would be the type of pass first PG the Heat would be looking for. If I were the Heat, I’d certainly take back Calderon if it meant getting rid of Beasley. For the Raptors it’s a salary dump, plain and simple. Calderon is a good PG, but he’s in his prime right now and while I think he would be an asset to the development of the younger players, it might be the only way the Raptors can get anything of value back for Bosh.
If Miami agreed to give the Raptors Beasley, Chalmers, the Raptors pick and Miami’s unprotected pick next season, as well as the $20 million trade exception, I would do it. Another advantage is that it would prevent the Heat from signing another big free agent and weaken them a little, making their draft pick next year a little better.
I think agreeing to take Beasley back is possibly the only leverage the Raptors have at the moment. Bosh has agreed to sign with them, so if you’re Miami, why on earth would you give up something you don’t have to? The Raptors could end up with only a $16 million trade exception out of the deal, and while that’s not horrible, I think all Raptor fans would like to see a little more coming back.