So The Raptors season ended as it began with 3 victories. So that means of the rest of the games the Raptors won a grand total of 27 out of 76. That is not good. There is no math that can make this season look good. But speaking of numbers Chris Bosh thanks to a monster night finished the season as one of only 3 players to average a double double this season of 20 and 10. Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are the other 2 players. So remind me again why everyone is trying to run this guy out of town? He may want to leave on his own and if that is the case there is nothing you can do about that. However if Chris wants to stay, I want to have him. There maybe be cap issues to deal with and figure out but so be it. Bosh is a very good player and I can not imagine nor want to imagine where this team would have been without him this season. It would have been far worse. I know that is hard to imagine but trust me it is true.
I have come to the conclusion that if the Raptors want to keep the core of this team together in Bosh, Bargnani and Calderon they will have to go into the Tax Threshold. In the NBA the Cap numbers are likely to go down. If you did not hear already there are reports out there that suggest 17 of the NBA clubs lost money this year. If the people at MLSE are smart and truly want to win they need to take advantage of the fact that they are not one of those 17. Despite a horrible season and a terrible T.V mess that keep the Raps off the air in the local market for a lot of folks. Still the Raptors worth 10th in paid attendance. When you look around during the Playoffs I am guessing you will not see every building sold out. If the Raptors were in the ACC is full to capacity without question.
So it would cost MLSE a lot of money to go into the tax. I know this. But have you ever heard the expression spend money to make money? This is the case for MLSE. Spend the Tax and take the hit and you will be rewarded with playoff revenue. But not just that. You will sell more t-shirts, hats and all that other good stuff they sell. It has always been said for this team to truly become Canada's team it will take an extended playoff run. Well I have another way that I have suggested long time ago and it is being talked about more and more. Go get Steve Nash. Yes he is older and people may doubt him. However so did Mark Cuban and Bryan Colangelo believed in Steve. Colangelo was rewarded with 2 M.V.P seasons and extended playoff runs for the Suns. Can Nash be that good again? Perhaps not. However he is the face of basketball in this country and is the perfect tutor for a young Roko Ukic or another point guard of the future the Raptors could draft. There are some good ones out there. Ty Lawson, Jonny Flynn and Pat Mills are 3 names that come to mind. Jose Calderon may be loved in Toronto but in the rest of the country to the casual fan do a poll and ask them who they would watch more Nash or Calderon. If Nash did not win with a huge majority I would be stunned. Is it anymore risky to bring in Nash than it was to bring in Jermaine O'Neal? Not to mention the economic surge it would create in sales of merchandise across this country. That alone would cover the cost of any tax the Raptors would suffer. Not to mention you improve your chances of Bosh and others wanting to be in Toronto. Nash makes players better it is that simple. There are a lot of guys that make a nice salary in this league thanks to Steve Nash. One of them is Shawn Marion. Maybe even he hangs around to be reunited with Steve. However no matter how you cut it the Raptors need to go into the Tax if they truly are looking to win. If they do not it is a sign to me that they are not serious about winning.
Bryan Colangelo is so it will not be his fault. It will be the MLSE board. They have the money and down economy or not they are doing just fine. So go spend the cash and fix the Raptors. If they do not this is going to get much worse before it gets better. A Boshless Raptors will not be a better Raptors. Have we not learned that in the post Vince era. Some may hate him but the fact remains the Raptors have never been able to replace him and are not the same team without him. Bosh is not Vince though in terms of effort and wanting to win. So I am comfortable paying Bosh money and knowing I will get full value from it. Bosh is a special player and is he a guy who can lead you on his own to greatness all on his own? No he can't. However with a solid team around him he can be effective. The Raptors need to build that team. When it comes to that the Raptors have not exactly done a great job at that.
I am totally convinced of two facts. The Raptors need to keep Bosh to have any hope of short term success and they need to go into the Tax to bring in the help Bosh will need to remain and be a winner. Here is another thing that worries me in a post Bosh era- Andrea Bargnani. He finally has broken through and is showing signs that he can be a good to great player. However if Bosh leaves and all the cameras turn towards Andrea what will happen? I am not sure but I think it would not be a good thing for his development. Andrea is not ready to be a face of a franchise or the best player on a team. In a post Bosh era he likely would become both. I see that as a concern and could lead to his new found confidence going in the toilet. That is something that no one wants to see. Bosh has grown nicely into the role as the face of the franchise and handles himself with the media like a true pro. Even with the off court issues Bosh was the same polished young man he has become in front of a camera. In the case of Bargnani he is adjusting to a new way of life and is far less comfortable in front of the cameras. People say he has got a lot better this year. However with no Bosh the media coverage of Andrea goes to a brand new level. It all screams to me that it will not be a good situation. If there is anything this season has taught me it is to stick to my gut. I had a horrible feeling about the Jermaine O'Neal trade when it was first made. I allowed myself to be convinced it was a good thing. Turns out it was the horrible thing I thought to start with. So Never Again!!! If I am totally 100% wrong on something so be it. That being said I think that I am establishing a pretty good track record on things. I have gained some confidence in myself and what I believe. You may not always agree and that is cool. But I will stick to my guns. Basically my statement on this off season is this. No Bosh....No Way. I am not going to be fooled a second time. If Chris wants to leave that is fine. But if this is a Raptor choice for him to go it will be a huge mistake.
Later in the day I will post my Playoff Picks. If you have not heard K.G may be a no go for the entire playoffs. That is big news for Cavs and Magic. The road in the East just became a little bit more clear. But more on that later today.