Yesterday, Chris Bosh’s agent set the Toronto Raptors a list of where Bosh would like to play next season and the foreseeable future. Toronto knew this day was coming, with Bosh’s contract expiring and the Raptors having failed to make the postseason yet again it was inevitable. The product in Toronto is clearly tainted with the dreams of Bryan Colangelo and his aspirations of a Eurocentric style of basketball. Toronto may be a culturally diverse and international city but this does not mean that this should translate into an international flare on the court. This is the NBA and physical defense, and a superstar or two, are what win and this has not changed. Most Euro and street ball inspired teams only achieve the heights of mediocrity. The Raptors are that mediocrity.
Bosh has chosen five teams for which he would like to play for in the coming years. Luckily for the Raptors Bosh decided to include the franchise on his short list. However, their inclusion may just be a matter of semantics, so do not get your hopes of retaining him up, Toronto. They are likely listed because of, in an ideal situation for both Bosh and the Raptors, the potential for a sign and trade agreement which would not leave the Raptors high and dry. Bosh is a Texan and therefore is considerate of the plight of Toronto if they are to lose him. In reality, a sign and trade agreement would allow Bosh to have another year on his contract and allow him earn more money than he would if he simply departed via free agency.
The four other destinations which Bosh has concluded would be a good fit for his skills set are the Chicago Bull, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks. Including the Lakers in this list is for show rather than for serious consideration. Los Angeles would love to get Bosh, but not even a sign and trade would work in this situation. Who, outside of the Lakers top six players, would the Raptors take for Bosh? No one. The Lakers are rather unlikely to give up any one of their top six players to go after Bosh because of their depth in the frontcourt. If this was baseball, Bosh would be a Laker next season. Luckily for the NBA the Steinbrenner’s have no sway in the house of hoops, oh and that whole salary cap thing would be an issue too. If Bosh does land in Los Angeles he would be suiting up in the blue and red instead of the purple and gold.
So that leaves Chicago, Miami, and New York. Two of these cities are petitioning heavily for a certain player this offseason and if that player lands in one of these cities it will make Bosh’s decision on where he wants to play that much easier. For practical purposes, let us assume that New York is only on the short list because of that one player that is out there on the market right now mulling over his summer choices. If “Player X” goes to the Big Apple, Bosh will follow, if he does not then Bosh will likely only play in Madison Square Garden aka Mecca anywhere from one to two games a season.
Miami made the short list also. Much like the situation surrounding Bosh’s potential sojourn to New York, his potential move to South Beach is predicated on the Heat either retaining or losing their star player. Only the Bulls are not dealing with the possibility of losing a star and are simply looking to add star player to play alongside Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Bosh has to strongly consider the Bulls because they are the team that won out down the stretch in the regular season and kept the Raptors from making the playoffs. Chicago also has a good young core that can only get better; Bosh is only 26 and is just now hitting his prime. From the list of cities that he has selected the Bulls are the most well put together team in the group that have the possibility of landing him.
Bosh has seemingly stated with his list that his decision to move cities relies solely on where other max free agents decide to go. He has chosen to follow, not to lead. That is a shame and does reflect on his character but who can really blame him? He is simply choosing not to choose. He wants to play alongside a signature player with the opportunity to compete for a championship. Bosh will not get that opportunity if he remains in Toronto. No matter where he ends up going he has set himself up to succeed. His list of five is really just built around what the media has perceived to be the frontrunners in the summer sweepstakes. Maybe his list will help other players on the market this summer narrow their lists of potential suitors. In the end though Bosh must make a choice for himself and not rely on the movement of others.