As I detailed in my last post, I think there’s still a chance Bosh will re-sign with Toronto. If he does decide to go, nearly a third of the league will be under the salary cap this summer. That’s astounding. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. Of course, just because you’re under the cap, doesn’t mean you’re going to have a shot at Bosh. I don’t see a team like Minnesota high on Bosh’s list. I also can’t see Washington being a likely destination. And then there are teams that have cap room, but simply don’t need a power forward like Bosh (Clippers). A team doesn’t necessarily have to have cap room to compete for Bosh, though. If someone like Houston has the right pieces, they could put together a sign-and-trade deal that could bring Bosh. All in all, I see 8 teams, other than Toronto, as having a shot at having Bosh on their roster next season.
Pluses: They play at the Mecca of basketball in one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world. They have more cap room than anyone else and could sign two max players. They have some nice young talent in Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas and a player friendly coach with a proven track record and the desire have his players run.
Minuses: They only won 29 games last year and might have been lucky to win that many. While they do have a few nice young players, they have very little talent signed for next season, and only Gallinari looks like he has star potential. They don’t play defense and have a coach that has never shown a desire to focus on it. While they can sign two max players, it’s unlikely that any of the top players would want to go there alone, because there’s simply not enough talent, which means it might be all or nothing. They have no center and no defensive oriented big man on the roster.
Summary: I don’t see it happening. Bosh has repeatedly stated he doesn’t want to be anyone’s second banana, so either he goes to New York alone, and they sign a couple of lesser players, or he signs elsewhere. After struggling for so long in Toronto, the thought of going to a team without a lot of proven talent, I think, would be unappealing. Quite frankly, I don’t see New York in Bosh’s future, nor should it be.
Pluses: New Jersey has lots of cap room, one of the best young centers in the NBA, and a former All-Star at PG who’s still in his prime. And they’ll have a top four pick in the draft, with a chance at getting one of the best PG prospects to come out in a long time. They have a new owner with deep pockets, a highly respected GM who knows how to build a winning team, and they will be moving to Brooklyn and into a brand new arena in two years.
Minuses: Outside of Harris and Lopez, they are weak in the talent department, and won a league low 12 games. They have no coach and they still have two years as a lame duck team in New Jersey where no one goes to see them, no matter how they are doing.
Summary: New Jersey would be a bit of a gamble, but might end up paying off big. Bosh has never played with a center as good as Lopez, and would benefit greatly from it. If the Nets get John Wall, their future will be very, very bright, and Bosh would be the leader on this team. It’s not mentioned as a likely destination, and probably isn’t, but, in my opinion, it should be.
Pluses: Dwayne Wade, cap room, Pat Riley and a excellent young coach in Erik Spoelstra. Oh, and it’s warm all year round and there are no state taxes.
Minuses: While the Heat did make the playoffs and win 47 games, the talent outside of Wade is shockingly mediocre. To make matters worse, if they add Bosh, they won’t have any more money to spend on getting more talent. If Wade were to go down (again), the Heat would be a lottery team, even with Bosh. On top of that, Bosh would be overshadowed by Wade.
Summary: On the surface, the Heat have a lot in their corner, but there are far too many unappealing aspects of this choice. It’s not a choice I would choose for him, and not one I think he’d make for himself.
Pluses: They have one of the best young PGs in the league, an excellent defensive and rebounding young center, a very good small forward and enough cap room that they can sign him outright, but enough pieces they can do a sign and trade and not lose much. Chicago is also the third biggest city in the NBA. Adding Bosh would immediately make them a contender and he’d be the top player there, even with Rose.
Minuses: The coach is likely gone and the front office has had problems, including making some poor deals. They’re a poor three point shooting team, which might make it more difficult for Bosh to score than he has been used to.
Summary: Possibly one of the best fits for Bosh. They lack a post presence and number one scoring option, which is what Bosh brings. Having Noah will ease Bosh’s load on defense and on the boards, and he’ll love playing with Rose. They could even do a sign and trade with Bosh and sign Joe Johnson, which would make them devastatingly good.
Pluses: The best young team in the NBA. They’re a 50 win team right now (in the West), with good players on and off the court, and one of the best GMs in the league. The one thing they lack the most, inside scoring, is what Bosh brings. Durant is poised to be one of the top players in the league.
Minuses: With Durant, he won’t be the number one option or the best player on the team, which is what he says he wants. Oklahoma City is not the type of city Bosh apparently likes.
Summary: There are real questions whether the Thunder would even want to spend all that money on Bosh, when they still will have to re-sign all their good young talent, including Durant. They’re a good team without him and adding such a big piece might upset the balance. What they need more is a defensive oriented center, which Bosh is not. Although it’s probably Bosh’s best chance at success, and long term success, the fact that he wouldn’t be the main man and that it’s not a bustling cosmopolitan city probably kills any chance of him heading there.
Pluses: They’re already a pretty talented, gritty, defensive oriented team, some nice talent, a well respected coach and a new age GM. Texas is his home state and Houston is a major city.
Minuses: While Houston did surprisingly better than most anticipated with injuries to the two best players, the team has a lot of question marks. Are there going to be any shots available with a backcourt of Brooks and Martin (who sound like a comedy duo) taking 30 shots a game between them? What’s going to happen when Yao Ming returns, and is he ever going to return at full strength? And though Daryl Morey has been the GM of the moment, with his new way of looking at stats, he’s made some perplexing deals. Signing Trevor Ariza when they already had Shane Battier, who plays the same position and does basically the same thing, was strange. As was trading McGrady’s expiring contract for Kevin Martin, a man who’s known as a great scorer, but has been called one of the worst defenders in the league numerous times. And he’s constantly injured.
Summary: Houston has been mentioned a fair bit, especially by Raptor fans, and it’s certainly a possibility. Trevor Ariza was convinced to take less money to play there, so nothing’s out of the question, but I really don’t see it being a good fit for Bosh. The rather eclectic roster, murky future and questionable personnel moves should turn Bosh off in the end, I think. Plus, they have no cap room and would have to do a sign-and-trade. Looking at their roster, there’s really not all that much to offer that would match salaries.
Pluses: It’s L.A., baby! One of the most storied franchises in NBA history and in a city made for someone like Bosh. It’s Bosh’s best way to win a Championship and he’d have one of the best coaches in the history of the game. While it may seem like a minus having Kobe, since Bosh wants to be the top dog, Kobe is 32 and is looking older and older. He’s played more than 40,000 minutes in the NBA, which has taken its toll. Bosh could represent the Laker’s future and be seen as a saviour.
Minuses: While Kobe is getting older, he’s still going to be the best player on the team for the next couple of years. The core certainly isn’t young and there is a danger of Bosh playing his best years while the Lakers are rebuilding. And his stats are sure to suffer with fewer shots to go around before that happens.
Summary: The Lakers seem like a perfect destination, especially if they were willing to trade Bynum and Vujacic, for the media loving Bosh, especially with his friendship with Kobe, but by the time the Lakers are his team, they very well might not be a contender. He might not be seen as earning a Championship if he won it with the Lakers, but rather riding their coattails. It will certainly be an attractive destination, but in the end, probably not the one that is best for him.
Pluses: Very similar to the Laker’s situation, except it’s not L.A. The situation, however, might seem a little more attractive because of the Spur’s sterling reputation as a franchise. R.C. Buford might simply be the best GM in the league. He rarely makes mistakes, is unparalleled at spotting talent and has a symbiotic relationship with Popovich. Duncan might be ready to take the same position David Robinson did when he came into the league. It’s in Texas.
Minuses: San Antonio, while in Texas, is no bustling metropolis. Like L.A, the Spurs best players are getting older and people have been predicting their drop off for years. Buford is a great franchise builder, but if Duncan and Ginobili start showing their age quickly, it might take a while for the Spurs to recover.
Summary: San Antonio may not want Bosh as a replacement for Duncan, since Bosh doesn’t bring the defense Duncan does. If they do, they have the pieces to do a sign and trade for him. Jefferson and McDyess might get it done, but if the Spurs want to replace Parker with George Hill, he might be available if something else was thrown in. In the end, though, I think Bosh is better off going to a younger team where his future is a little clearer.
Pluses: It’s the city he knows and likes, he can earn the most money here and he knows that Colangelo is willing to build around him.
Minuses: Uh, have you watched the last couple of seasons?
Summary: While most US media pundits would bet everything against it, probably because they don’t understand why an American would choose live in Canada, Toronto still has a shot. They can offer the most money, he knows the city and the organization and the home team usually has the best chance of re-signing. Bosh has had 7 years in Toronto and has never made it to the second round. That could either be a challenge or reason to leave. Personally, I don’t know which it will be.
Bosh will have a lot of options, but the best one, quite frankly, is Chicago. He gets to go to an already talented team, so won’t have the danger of having to suffer through more rebuilding, it’s a big city, which he likes, and he’d be the man, which is also important to him. Rose is a great player, but at this point, wouldn’t be overshadowed by Bosh. The idea of turning a team into a contender should be extremely appealing to him. While Paxson and company has not proven to be great at building a contender, the talent is already there. A core of Bosh, Rose and Noah is scary. It’s young and extremely talented, and they compliment each other well. In the end, I think it will come down to Toronto and Chicago. Who wins, is anyone’s guess.
On a side note, someone on Raptors Republic suggested a sign-and-trade for Bosh to San Antonio. Bosh and Calderon for Parker, Jefferson and Blair. The trade is not as noteworthy as some of the reaction. Some people actually had the gall to complain about a trade that would pretty much give the Raptors the best team in the history of the franchise. This trade would improve their defense, rebounding, scoring and playoff experience, as well as give them a former Finals MVP who’s still in his prime. I can see that team possibly making it to the second round of the playoffs. And people were complaining about it. I get the feeling that if Bosh does leave in a sign and trade, some people are going to be awfully disappointed with what the Raptors get back.