The Question: Is there life after Bosh?
The Answer: Yes. And it can't be much worse than this season.
The Solution:I can't believe that Chris Bosh is going to re-sign with the Raptors this season which means that they will try to trade him to a team that he'll be happy to re-up with. At the same time, if they are dealing Bosh, they might as well try to deal Jose Calderon while they are at it because there's no need to keep a 27 year old point guard on a rebuilding team. Especially one that can't play a lick of defense.
However, the first issue that the Raptors have to deal with is Bosh. He can essentially veto any deal by saying he won't re-sign immediately. Not many teams are going to give up fair value for a guy who might be a one year rental. Minnesota and Golden State could make solid offers but is Bosh really going to opt to go to either team for five years? Minnesota is the team that wasted Kevin Garnett's career while Golden State's backcourt of Ellis, Maggette, and Jackson isn't all that enticing for a big man.
Then there's the economy. Portland could go after Bosh but they also might prefer to stick with their guys who are still on rookie contracts or are only looking at the first round max deal. Even someone like Paul Allen is pinching pennies right about now and Bosh on a second max contract might scare people off.
While some teams like Oklahoma City and the LA Clippers have interesting offers, I think the most likely destination is Miami. Not only can they get a talent like Michael Beasley in the deal but the deal could also include Jermaine O'Neal's expiring deal which could make a three team deal possible. Yes, there's something a bit embarrassing about trading your franchise player for a guy you just traded to Miami but this might be the best of the available option for the Raptors.
Before that deal goes down, the Raptors would want to figure out what they were doing with Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani. For Calderson, the best deal could be:
Jose Calderon and #9 to Sacramento for Andres Nocioni, the #4 and #23 picks: If Ricky Rubio is gone, the Kings don't really have an obvious option at the fourth pick and most of the PG's will still be around at #8 so dropping down doesn't hurt them that much. I'd then try to move down in the draft and deal the #4 pick for the #6 and #28.
That leaves Andrea Bargnani. If Orlando wants to re-sign Hedo Turkoglu, they won't be able to re-sign Martin Gortat and they also might not be able to afford Mickeal Pietrus anymore. And as great as Pietrus has been in these playoffs, I think Courtney Lee might be ready to fill his role next season. Still, I'm not sure how much sense that makes for the Raptors. The better move might be:
Andrea Bargnani and Marcus Banks in a sign-and-trade for Josh Childress: The Hawks replace Zaza Pachulia and add a C/PF who'd be a good complement with Al Horford. The Raptors add a young, defensive minded swingman who would be a nice defensive-minded swingman.
With Nocioni and Childress flanking Beasley, the Rapz can move forward with their deal. It's hard to know what type of deal could come out of this without real inside knowledge on which teams are looking to outright dump players. This might never happen but I'd either look at the #4 and JO for Emeka Okafor and a sign and trade of Raymond Felton or hope that things have gotten so bad for Andrew Bynum in LA that some sort of deal of JO and #4 could get the young big man.
If the Bosh deal looks imminent, I think the best deal might be something like:
Raptors get Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry, Q Richardson, #8 pick
Knicks get Jermaine O'Neal, #6, #23 pick
Heat get Chris Bosh and Jason Kapono
The Knicks dump an extra year of Curry's contract and also leap ahead of Golden State to secure their draft target Stephon Curry while the Raptors get back talented youngster Wilson Chandler (another good complement to Beasley) for their trouble. Again, this might not be the best option with JO's contract but it might be the most reasonable.
With the picks, the Raptors can make a number of different moves and I might trade down again but for now I'd take a PG like Tyreke Evans (or Jonny Flynn) with the #8 and maybe take a flyer on Victor Clavor with the late first rounder.
In free agency, the Raptors could make an offer for someone like Marcin Gortat, who I don't think the Magic will be able to retain if they want to re-sign Hedo Turkoglu and not pay a ton in luxury tax.
The rebuilding Raptors look like this:
Starters: Mario Chalmers, Josh Childress, Wilson Chandler, Michael Beasley, Marcin Gortat
Bench: Tyreke Evans, Roko Ukic, Andres Nocioni, Kris Humphries, Victor Claver, Eddy Curry, Patrick O'Bryant.