I think the Raptors are fucked. If they lose today, I’m ready to call the season. I think if they lose to the Sixers then the chances of them making the playoffs get significantly worse, with Chicago winning games and getting healthier.
But even if they make the playoffs, does Bosh want to play for a team that struggled this hard to make the playoffs? I used to be the only guy I knew who thought there was a good chance Bosh would stick around. I would argue it with anyone. But that was during their good stretch. The longer this bad stretch has gone, the worse the chances of Bosh staying. I figure he’s going (though I really doubt he wants play in New York, I mean who in their right mind would want to play for the Knicks? That assumes basketball players are in their right minds…), and he’ll probably go to a team that will pay him the max that sort of looks like a contender, but I could be totally wrong.
The problem is that the Raps are totally fucked without him. They do not have another franchise player; they don’t even have a borderline franchise player. None of the other starters are franchise players, or potential franchise players, and some of their starters can’t even hold down that job.
Can the Raps play team basketball well enough to win without a 23 and 11 guy at the 4? Absolutely not. Worse, the Raps are drafting 45th this summer. So when (if) Bosh leaves, they aren’t getting help that way. The only way they will get help is through trades or free agency. And Colangelo’s track record with both is not very reassuring. There have been a number of seemingly smart moves that have never really turned into much. The most Colangelo has done is to create the best Raptor’s bench I can remember (keeping in mind my short-term basketball fanness), if not the most consistent.
I have come to the conclusion recently that Bosh is probably the best offensive four in the league. That means there’s no immediate replacement out there, since anyone would be a downgrade. Do they go four a better defensive four and hope to get offense elsewhere? A lot of teams don’t rely on the four as their main offensive producer, but it’s hard to see how the Raps can make up those nearly 24 PPG from another position, without acquiring a star from somewhere else. And, as we well know, few American basketball players really want to play here over American cities. It’s our damn metric system, as Antonio Davis so wisely pointed out.
The only conclusion I seem to be headed towards is that if Bosh leaves, it has to be rebuild time. How they do that with albatrosses like Turkgolu’s and Calderon’s contracts, I don’t know.