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.