Toronto Raptors fans have seen this movie before. In 2004, after a lot of griping about not being happy, Vince Carter finally got his way and got traded out of Toronto. At that point, Chris Bosh took over the reins as the franchise player. When Bryan Colangelo was named General Manager in the spring of ’06, he quickly turned the team in to a division champion. Everything was rosy in a city that lacks flower beds, but just as quickly as it turned peachy, the sour grapes came bursting through the doors of the Air Canada Centre. Following two first-round playoff exits, the Raps really fell apart this year and the player who took the brunt of the criticism was Chris Bosh. CB4 had a subpar ’08-’09 and fans were willing to ship him out of town – people are seriously quick to turn in this town (I live in Toronto). Now, Colangelo faces a huge predicament: Do the Raptors trade Bosh before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2010? Do they take their chances that he will re-sign? Below, in an interview with The Fan 590 in Toronto, Colangelo outlines his plan of attack regarding Bosh, who the Raptors will look at in the coming draft, and how Carlos Delfino may be re-joining the team.
What are you looking for at the number nine spot in the upcoming draft?
“We’re looking really at the guard and wing position… A couple of point guards, a couple of wings, and maybe one small forward that we’d be looking at. The two wings would be DeMar DeRozan and Gerald Henderson, the two point guards would be Jrue Holiday, and Jonny Flynn, and you’re probably looking at James Johnson as a possibility who was a great player at Wake Forest this past year, came out early and he’s another talented player we would consider there.”
What’s the situation with Chris Bosh and is there a possibility he signs a contract extension this summer?
“We’ll have the discussion, we’ll talk about the pros and the cons, he’ll most likely not sign it, and then we’ll get in to next season, we’ll figure out where we are. In respect to the situation for him, there will be a handful of teams next year – I’m guessing between five and ten – which will have maximum allowable free agent money, which means Chris is subject to walk to one of those deals. But, I have to reiterate the point that keeps being overlooked – we’re the only team that can offer him a full six years versus five years, 10.5% increases versus 8% increases… Basically equates to a $30 million dollar difference. So, even if he wants to leave, he’s still better served, and we’re better served if he works a sign-and-trade with us where we can get some sort of an asset back from the team that he’s going to. And, I think that’s probably the thing that we’ll both push for because he’ll benefit from it and we’ll benefit from it, and that’s why it’s probably not time to panic now and make a bad deal.”
You extended an offer to Carlos Delfino who played in Russia last season. Is he coming back and why did he leave the Raptors in the first place?
“He basically got 2.85 million net Euros, at the time, that was the equivalent of about $8.5 – $9 million US deal, so, you can see where there’s a discrepancy in dollars of about $5 million US gross and it was too much for him to walk away from. Now, he’s been there a year, he’s played under those circumstances, and he’s said, ‘You know what? I wanna be back in the NBA.’ He’s gonna leave a lot of money on the table… I’ve been kinda putting him on my roster depth charts with semi-removable ink. He’s a guy that I think we can get the deal done if we want to get it done.”