It's only been a few weeks since the Raptors season officially came to an end. Well, unless you were watching the team since the All-Star game, in which case it's been over for months. But since its official end, many articles have been written discussing Bosh and his seemingly inevitable departure. One of the main themes in several of those pieces is that Bryan Colangelo has little to no control over the situation and that the Raptors will probably be forced to accept any offer thrown at them.
I'm not going to quote every article/chat that has offered up this kind of talk. Just to illustrate my point, I'll use this one story as an example. On April 28th, Miami-based writer, Ira Winderman was asked, "Will Toronto’s insistence on a sign and trade ruin our chances of getting Bosh? Can it work out in Miami’s favor? — Kevin." This was Ira's response: "It has nothing to do with what Toronto wants. The Heat simply can sign Bosh into its cap space. Bosh then can go back to the Raptors and say, “I’m going to the Heat, but I can earn more if you want to get something back in a sign and trade.” What the Raptors want has absolutely nothing to do with the process. It’s what Bosh wants. Bryan Colangelo is Bosh’s pawn right now, nothing more.
With words like "pawn" being thrown around in reference to the man behind the Raptors wheel, it's no wonder that fans get a little upset when Chris Bosh passively asks where he should go. I've been outspoken with my opinion on how Chris Bosh has handled this entire situation this season, but just in case you haven't read or heard what I've been saying-- I'll say it again. He has kicked in the teeth of the organization that has done everything to keep him here short of getting on one knee and proposing marriage. While the Hedo Turkoglu deal is now widely considered one of the worst signings in franchise history, at the time it was made, Bosh was among those singing its praises the loudest. He was the one who phoned Turkoglu to convince him that he was wanted in Toronto. He was the reason that Colangelo went out and signed Chris' college roommate (the fact that Jarret Jack actually worked out in Toronto is irrelevant). He's one of the biggest reasons Jay Triano is the head coach (JT and Bosh have formed quite the friendship over the years). Yet, for everything that the Raptors, and the city of Toronto have done for Bosh, he decided to make them wait it out because he just loved the attention. And for the record, I said that before his mindless, attention-seeking tweet. The Raptors moves may not have all panned out the way we all hoped, but it's not like the Raptors sat on their hands and did nothing. If Bosh had told BC behind closed doors that he wanted out last off-season, you better believe Turkoglu would be the Portland Trailblazers' problem.
If I'm Bryan Colangelo (whom, for the record, I've also called out), I don't even ask Chris to stay. Forget it as an option because it isn't one. BC needs to go into search mode right away and seek out the best possible return for his former franchise player. Some of the deals that have been thrown around involve Jeff Green from OKC, Michael Beasley from Miami, and Andrew Bynum from LA. But almost none of them have framed Colangelo has the aggressor. He's the one with the coveted asset-- not them. In my mind, if BC doesn't move Hedo Turkoglu's enormous contract along with Bosh, the deal should be considered a bust. It doesn't matter which young pieces come back if Hedo's money is still owed by the Raptors. Colangelo will have to take back a lot of contract to get it done, but he needs to manage it so that some of it is expiring, and some of it addresses the Raptors' weaknesses. If and when CB4 is traded this off-season, the Raptors will have entered rebuilding mode. The best way to rebuild is with as few ridiculous contracts as possible. If Turk is moved, then you only have to two players on the team getting paid more than $9 milion per year. Jose Calderon's contract will be much easier to move than Turk's and Andrea Bargnani's is actually a bargain (LaMarcus Aldridge gets paid $1 million more for almost the exact same output).
While many will judge this deal based on what the Raptors get back in return, I'll be one of the people who look at who else the Raptors are able to get rid of. The misguided writers out there may be saying, "Beggars can't be choosers," but if you're Bryan Colangelo, you better be very selective. This may be the deal that defines his career to date.
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