On Wednesday, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo was enamored by the idea of a sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh, and as of today, he seems to have soured on the idea. Don’t you just love free agency?
Here’s the report from ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande:
Wherever Chris Bosh heads next, he’ll likely have to do so on his own — and at a slightly discounted rate. The Toronto Raptors have become increasingly disenchanted with the idea of helping Bosh obtain a maximum contract via a sign-and-trade deal, according to a league source.
…The right combination of players, manageable contracts, draft picks and a trade exception could have enticed the Raptors to accommodate Bosh. The Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks are believed to have submitted trade proposals for Bosh to the Raptors, and apparently none has impressed Toronto.
Without the possibility of a sign-and-trade, only the teams with serious cap space — the Nets, Knicks, Heat, Clippers, and Bulls — could make bids for Bosh’s services. It also significantly slashes the already slim possibility of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all ending up in Miami together. A sign-and-trade of Bosh for Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley seemed a rather crucial component of that master plan, and if Colangelo has taken that option off the table, it’s even more of a pipe dream.
However, this is likely a ploy by the Raptors; with nothing else to do but take in offers and bide their time, Colangelo could simply be playing up his reluctance to deal as a way to entice more attractive proposals. By playing hard to get, the Raps could end up with an even more enticing package in return. One of the offers on the table might already provide the basic framework for an ideal transaction, or perhaps Colangelo hopes that this posturing will net an even better one.
Whether the Raptors want this or that, Bosh could always leave them high and dry if he gets the right offer from a team with the space to sign him. That’s why the five teams with wiggle room under the cap can make all of Colangelo’s maneuvering irrelevant. If one of them can give Chris the opportunity, salary, and teammates he’s looking for, then the Raptors will be left with nothing in return and the victims of their own smokescreen.