NBA Free Agency Rumors: James Recruiting Bosh to Cleveland

This morning on the Mike and Mike show, ESPN’s Chris Broussard said that LeBron is trying to get Chris Bosh to agree to come to Cleveland. Broussard mentioned that the Raptors were open to a sign and trade with the Cavaliers, but that Bosh would have to be sold on playing in Cleveland.

Well, you can imagine how that went over. Cavalier fans may have broken twitter. But here are some things to keep in mind about this potential blockbuster. First, it is not really news that Toronto is willing to trade Bosh to Cleveland. That has been established. They are willing to deal with Cleveland, Chicago (if they can get Noah we’re told) and Houston. They do not like any combination that the Heat can put together, and so they have basically eliminated Miami from a sign and trade scenario.

Second, for whatever reason selling Bosh on Cleveland is harder than it seems. Bosh wishes to team with LeBron or Wade in a big market. If he goes to Miami to play with either Wade or James or all three he would have to give up the idea of the sign and trade which would net him the max contract with the 6th year added in. He would be leaving over $30 million on the table in that situation. LeBron and Wade appear to be leaning towards signing with their old teams, which would give them that extra year, and possibly leave Bosh behind or in Chicago with Rose.

LeBron has been selling Cleveland to Bosh for more than just the last couple of days. It appears that Bosh may have to see his hand being forced in order to accept the deal to the Cavaliers. Why is that? For starters, Bosh has spent his career to this point in Toronto. Now for my money, there are fewer cities in the States I like visiting more than Toronto, Canada. Love it there. But it is not exactly the most embraced city in NBA circles. Bosh probably feels like he would be a bigger star had he played in a large US market city like Chicago. He may be right. The inference then is that he would continue to be overlooked by playing alongside James in Cleveland.

I have to say that Bosh would of course be overshadowed by LeBron. But that would be the case wherever he plays with LBJ. Same thing is true of Wade. However, his exposure by playing next to LeBron would be tremendous. The Cavs were on national television every other game last season (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and with Bosh that number would certainly not go down. Add Byron Scott’s ‘showtime’ offense to the mix and the Cavaliers would be a wildly entertaining team that TNT and ESPN would show constantly. A Bosh Nike puppet would be a no-brainer.

Another concern for Bosh is what position the Cavaliers would want him to play. SI’s Chris Mannix tweeted that Bosh would only accept coming to Cleveland if the Cavaliers used him at the PF position, one that he’s more comfortable at and wouldn’t have quite the nightly toll taken on his body as opposed to playing center.

If LeBron can ease Chris’ fears about playing in ‘small market’ Cleveland, and the team’s ability to add pieces when needed, then perhaps we have a new reason to call LeBron the King.

So who would the Cavs be giving up in this trade? Conventional wisdom says that the Raptors would want Anderson Varejao to replace Bosh. As Scott tweeted earlier today, the Raptors have loved Andy for some time. In addition, they would want Delonte West to be included so that they can opt out of his non-guaranteed contract and save $4 million. They would more than likely insist that JJ Hickson be part of the deal. While that would be a lot to give up, you have to take those kinds of chances if it means re-signing LeBron and adding Bosh.

A different approach by John Hollinger has the Cavs sending Jamison, West, Moon and Powe for Bosh and Turkoglu. This would be more of a money saving move by Toronto, clearing $10 million of contracts by the end of the season. In this version the Cavs would likely slide Varejao to the 5, and let Hickson rotate between the 4 and 5. I have no idea what they would do with Hedo. He would likely be the 6th man? Hedo’s contract is terrible. Horrible. Horrible that is at the production he gave last season. If the Cavs could get something out of him, suddenly 4 years remaining at around $11 million per isn’t the end of the world.

  • SxDx

    125 million to play alongside LeBron James and be on national TV every week. How many nationally televised games has Toronto had….in their existence? Probably fewer than the Cavs had last season alone.

    Ive read that allegedly, Bosh is willing to go to New Jersey, but not Cleveland. REALLY? THE NETS? They won 12 games last season. If this is all true then its borderline mind blowing to me. 125 million bucks to join a 60 win team and team up with the best player in the league not named Kobe. I mean if thats not good enough then what is?

    My hope is that LeBron puts the pressure back on Bosh by re-signing with the Cavs. Like “Ok mf’er, you wanna play with the king? Then you gotta come to Cleveland cuz Im not gonna follow you anywhere.” But it seems like Wade, Bosh and LeBron are all gun shy and waiting for someone else to make the first move. Win lose or draw Ill be happy when this is all over so we dont have to think and talk about it anymore.

  • Christopher

    Let’s not forget that the reports saying “Bosh doesn’t want to come to Cleveland” come fr the same people that 2 years ago said “Lebron is definitely going to NY”, two weeks ago said “Lebron is definitely signing in Miami”, one week ago said “Lebron will sign in Chicago” and as of today have the odds all stacked in Clevelands favor.

    I’m in the wrong business.

  • Shamrock

    Rich I don’t accept anything until it happens. Would I love a trade for Bosh? Absolutely. Do I think it’ll happen? Probably not. Do the Cavaliers have what it takes to make a trade. Yes. This is why I don’t find the trade rumor as unbelievable as Bosh not wanting to play in Cleveland. The Cavaliers have alot more positives going for them then negatives, As for living in Cleveland, well people just need to get over that already. It’s not going to change but then again we’re talking about athletes who have enough money that they can go anywhere they want in the offseason. During the season who cares.

  • Rich

    Personally I think Bosh is an idiot. I mean that in the sense that he doesn’t have normal brain functions.

    Where would you live for 30 million dollars? Furthermore, where would you live for 30 millino dollars, a great shot at being super successful at w/e it is you do, AND being as exposed as you can be?

    I’d live in the freaking sewerd if I had to. Most people would. Bosh has lost his mind.

  • Christopher

    @ Rich

    Before you say “Bosh has lost his mind”, read my comments above.

    Until Bosh is on TV publicly stating he does not want to play in Cleveland regardless if LBJ signs here or not I wouldn’t buy in. (and even then would still be skeptical)

  • Team Wallace

    @54 its not like its $30 milli or broke. wherever the dude goes, after even limited endorsements, he’ll bank $100 million. so, somewhat understandably, that extra 30 isn’t a deal maker.

    if I had $100 million to play with, I’d probably sacrifice and extra 30 to live on South Beach over the Cuyahoga. just sayin’

    all that said, basketball-wise, he’s an idiot for not wanting to play in Cleveland with LeBron – and for Gilbert and the Chinese owners.

  • Titus Pullo

    Just caught JA Adande on ESPN News. He claims there is no way Bosh will go to Cleveland because “for the past year no one has been talking about Cleveland as a destination, it’s always been Chicago, Miami or New York.”

    So because the mainstream media didn’t want to consider Cleveland as a destination, then there’s no way any story could be true. Because they are never wrong, of course.

  • Christopher

    @ Titus

    See comment #52

    …I feel like I am taking crazy pills.

  • todd

    so i assume lebron has already made up his mind since he is going to announce it on thursday … bosh is reportedly not coming … is that bad?

  • bobby

    Is Bosh actually THAT good? will he be another player here or the push to win a championship? All Im saying, is we need a center. A center who can move down the court, man up against the biggest bigs in the league, and someone that can get points. Bosh is a freaking prime dona. Hes acting like Braylon Edwards. Its like he thinks hes all that for playin in Toronto. He hasnt done crap in this league and he only cares about making money. No matter where he goes he wont make money cause his team will suck. The Nets w/ Bosh? maybe get to 25-30 wins last year. This year w/ Bosh they might squeeze into a 7-8 seed. But in Bosh land, it doesnt matter because hes in a “big market.” I completely believe hes against cleveland cause he wont be marketed, but I would like to ask him where he will be marketed? No one wants a star that is on an awful team. Hes not gonna be winning anything anywhere outside of Cleveland. With Kobe out west and LBJ in the east, he needs to be someones Robin. He could be the Kobe’s Shaq to LBJ. He could be on national TV every other night. He could fill a role that the Cavs have needed for a while to help them win it all…. But he doesnt care about that. All ’bout dem Benjammins for Bosh!!

  • Josh Stein

    Of course Bosh doesn’t want to come to Cleveland. Would you want to without knowing for damn sure LeBron is staying?

    Now, if LBJ says he’s staying and then Bosh still doesn’t want to come to Cleveland, then he’s probably an idiot.

  • JM

    Bosh was on the Olympic team, was an all star, and is coveted by a few teams now. So I would say he is good. But I do see your point Bobby. Some radio show said it best today, Bosh needs to accept he is not the #1 or star. He is the #2 and the side kick. It seems he isn’t realizing that right now.

  • Josh Stein

    Or, like LBJ, he’s playing us all like a fiddle.

  • stin4u

    I don’t see the argument about not getting FA’s into cleveland because no one wants to play here. How often do we see premier names switch teams? Kobe? no…MJ…..not till he was well past his prime….Shaq is the only name that comes to mind and no…he didn’t come to cleveland..but as I recall we made no play for him.

    I personally think if Lebron stays (which I have said since the final game of the Boston series he will) that yes, Bosh would be crazy not to accept a sign and trade here…and yes….if he passes it up it’s because it’s more about building his image and bank account (allegedly easier in a larger market) and less about winning…and in that case why would we even want him? I don’t think you can say FA’s don’t want to play here just because we haven’t signed premier names…because those guys haven’t left…so quit with the blankets no need for them it’s been in the 90’s all week.

  • crazycav

    Everyone keeps talking about an extra 30 mil, but thats the 6th year of the contract and thats also not including someone finishing the 5th year and signing a new contract and cutting into that 30 mil substantially barring injury of course. So its not like they are leaving 30 mil on the table as it will be made up in a new contract.

  • crazycav

    Stin. I am a diehard Cavs fan but over the years how many players have signed with the Cavs in free agency that we didn’t have to overpay to get here? I love cleveland but players in the NBA want to be in the hot spot cities for the social life (miami,NY,LA) as well as major cities for endorcement deals. It has to be the hardest part of LeBron’s decision because he knows deep down most players do not want to play in Cleveland. Btw most players are not going to come out and say it (except for brainless idiots like Noah) because it’s the PC thing to do and they know they might have to play here a few times a year.

  • AMC

    @crazycav – but if the CBA changes substantially and limits the max contracts as Stern wants to do, the person not signing the max deal could lose a large chunk of that 30 million.

    On another note, ESPN now reporting LeBron will announce decision at 9pm on ESPN. This of course coincides with another eyeball driving tweet from Broussard that the Knicks are gaining serious ground. I just can’t wait for this to be over.

  • crazycav

    AMC I understand that next years CBA will change the cap and will most likely reduce the max that year but how much is it really going to change for the top line players like LeBron, Wade, ect. That’s the big question and like you want to this to be over. Kinda of tired of this dragging out.

  • mendy


    why must i have class till 9:30 on thursday? why? why??

    …that’s it. sure i only have 3 classes left in grad school, but i’m dropping out!

  • mendy

    windy’s tweet a couple minutes ago doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside:

    “Suddenly it is clear to me. LeBron has changed. A new website. Starting Twitter. This announcement. This isn’t the guy I know.”

  • AMC

    @mendy – saw that too. Also have been following Sam Amico who all of this time has firmly believed that LeBron is staying right up until tonight. Now, he seems to think that the Knicks are a genuine possibility. Broussard (who I don’t trust) also reports Knicks gaining ground. Tom Withers (AP Cavs beat reporter) also now tweeting that he thinks LeBron could be gone too. The announcement of this free agent program on Thursday seems to have turned all of the reporters in the direction of him leaving…

  • mendy

    true AMC, but all of these writers have been changing their tune almost daily since the end of LAST season.

    this article pretty much sums up my feelings:

    “…if LeBron leaves Cleveland and rubs it in their faces by announcing it on prime time cable TV, it will be the height of *butthole*-ishness.”


  • Lob Beach Tees

    I know I’m late on this article. Extremely late, but I’m glad James and Bosh are both with the Miami Heat