Chris Bosh’s agent has told the Toronto Raptors that he’s narrowed his list of preferred teams to five, two sources told ESPN.com’s Chad Ford at the NBA draft camp.
The list of five teams — Toronto plus the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks, sources said — were given to Toronto management in case the Raptors want to construct a sign-and-trade deal (assuming he doesn’t re-sign with Toronto).
Well, that’s unfortunate. If I had had to guess, I would have put my money on Miami as Chris Bosh’s eventual landing spot. But I certainly did not think the Houston Rockets would not even be given consideration. So much for the rumors of Bosh’s alleged desire to be the #1 option.
If the news is true, this at least sheds some light on a report earlier in the week by Yahoo that Houston was expected to aggressively pursue a trade for the 3rd or 4th pick in next month’s draft. Just yesterday, I mistakenly hypothesized that the team might try to use assets believed to be allocated for a Bosh deal to move up, and then use point guard Aaron Brooks to nab Bosh. It now appears that with Bosh no longer an option, the club simply hopes to use the draft to make its elite acquisition of the summer.
This one hurts. I argued hard that with his size and unique abilities in the high post, Bosh was the ideal fit at power forward for this team. Based on reports from last winter’s trade deadline, the club could still have interest in Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire. But Stoudemire is no Bosh. While a potent offensive force, the 27 year-old does not possess Bosh’s high-post playmaking abilities and cannot be used as an offensive initiator.
Still, all is not lost. With cheap assets and flexibility, Morey still has many options. He could move up in the draft or bide his time until the deadline to pursue whatever commodity that month’s market may bring. However, with Shane Battier and Jared Jeffries’ contracts both expiring, owner Leslie Alexander in an allegedly generous mood (promising to loosen the purse strings for a luxury tax payout), and Knicks lottery picks which could depreciate as more certainty cements, I do expect the club to make at least one major move by March of ’11.