As a side note this is not a rumor of any king, it is simply my wishful thinking/inner fantasy GM talking.
As of late the Toronto Raptors have been playing well. One of the best records since the new year, improved in all aspects of the game, have won some big games, and most importantly have secured their spot in the playoffs (pretty much).
However, although I am a big Raptors fan, I have to be realistic. They will finish fifth (aka will not catch the Celtics or any of the other top 4 east teams), and most likely lose in the first round, faulting in their defense. Thus resulting in Bosh contemplating going to another team. And no matter how much the US media wants to claim they’re sure Bosh is leaving- they have no idea. There has been no indication of it from Bosh himself, and if anything Toronoto’s improved play would indicate otherwise.
Although many factors, many unforeseeable, will impact Bosh’s decision, the one I see as most important is how well the Raptors finish off the season and how deep they go in the playoffs. With my prediction being them losing in the first round, and the biggest reason being lack of defense I think that is where they need to make the most improvement. On top of this I see Turkoglu, although playing better than he has, still struggling with the way this team shares the ball, especially in the playoffs.
Thus my first move would be trading Turkoglu for Trevor Ariza. Though Turkoglu is more talented offensively, the Raptors need defense. Ariza also brings a more experienced slasher and a solid three point shooter. Though some may say his percentages are not good this season, this is because he plays on a Houston team with little star power which results him doing more than he can. On the Lakers he played a perfect role, spot-up threes, energy man, defense. All things the Raptors need. On top of those positives he is also younger than Turkoglu, showing Bosh a brighter future. And lets be honest, Turkoglu hasn’t really produced this season.
So now many would say, what about the things we needed and somewhat got from Turkoglu. Offense, clutch play, a wing ball-handler, playoff experience. This is where the free-agency comes in. By trading for Ariza the Raptors would save money as Turkoglu was paid more, and with a few other Raptors coming off the books at the end of the season, the Raps will have the option to not only resign Bosh, but add another name. The name that will fill all those needs named above, and replace Turkoglu- Manu Ginobili!
Before I get to the fun stuff, I will address the doubts people may have.
1) Houston may very well go for the Turkoglu trade because they will NOT make the playoffs, will NOT have the ability to sign a big name free agent, and the thing they need the most is a facilitator/scorer from the wing. Someone else to run the offfense through, other than A-Brooks. With Turkoglu not being too happy with his role in TO he may even be willing to take a bit of a pay cut to have a big role on a solid team.
2) TO will have more money in the offseason by trading Turk, as well as having Rasho, Amir, and Antoine Wright all free agents, to sign someone like Ginobili.
3) Bry-Co will need to make some big, drastic moves if he wants to ensure Bosh to resign. He needs to show Bosh a bright future. He has done a good start of it this season, however he will need to show Bosh that the Raps can possibly go deep into the playoffs rather than being a mediocre team every year.
4) Ginobili would be willing to sign in TO. There have been rumors that he will not resign with the Spurs, so why wouldn’t he sign in Toronto. A fairly Euro-team, with a superstar in Bosh, a chance to be an East allstar, and most importantly a chance to win another championship. The Spurs are on the downhill, and will most likely want to sign someone younger anyway.
So finally to look at the beauty these couple of moves could bring to the Raps:
The Raps would have everything. A legit superstar-Bosh. Offensive fire-power. Playoff experience. Ball-handling. Deep bench. A tight chemistry with only Ginobili being added. Bargnani and some of the other young guys continously improving. Defense-Ariza, Bargs… Clutch play, and killer instinct- Ginobili. Thus in my opinion making them an East contender, and depending on the development of Bosh and Bargs perhaps even a championship contender.
Check out the lineup: C- Bargnani. PF- Bosh. SF- Ariza. SG- Ginobili. PG- Jack. Bench- Calderon, Derozan, Amir, Evans, Belinelli, Weems…