Now, before I get bashed, criticized and sent nasty emails, hear me out. This would give the Toronto Raptors the game breaker they have so dearly lacked since the end of the Vince Carter era, and some may even contend that they didn’t have in the latter years of Vince’s stay in Toronto. Chris Bosh is a good player for sure, but I refuse to believe that he has the ability to hit that big shot at the end of the game. Yes, he has done it a few times already in his young career but I don’t believe that he gets the opposing team frightened at crunch time like Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant.
There is no doubt that Chris Bosh isn’t close to reaching his prime yet. But how many chances do you get to pick up an all-world talent? Bosh is good, but he isn’t all-world good. The second part of this deal would involve TJ Ford of the Raptors. The Raptors have a luxury that less than a handful of teams in the NBA possess: two starting point guards. Why not use this advantage and deal one for a player as talented as Bryant? I do believe Jose Calderon has a higher ceiling than Ford and that is one of the reasons I would keep him. Plus, Calderon is set to become a free agent at season’s end and he may walk away from the Raptors because he knows he can probably start on 10-15 other teams.
The other reason I would include Ford in this deal is due to salary cap concerns; he is scheduled to make $8 million this season as well as next season and then $8.5 million the next couple of seasons. Bosh is making just north of $13 million this season and then there is a gradual increase of approximately $1.3 million per season for the next couple of seasons.
Judging by rumours and what is out there in various newspapers, Bosh and Ford is more than what other teams are willing to give up for Bryant, which is why I would add Sasha Vujacic to the deal. He looks like a good player who should develop into a quality rotation player in the years to come, he has some skills in the mean time that the Raptors could utilize as well. His salary is also low enough that it basically evens out the salaries the two teams are trading.
From a Lakers point of view, this deal would help their team grow and would really give them a head start in the rebuilding process. The Lakers would be able to build a team around Bosh and Ford and with Phil Jackson at the helm who knows what could happen as he is a great basketball mind.
Of course this could all be for nothing since Bryant has a no-trade clause in his contract, one of the few NBA players to have that, but it is still something that should heavily be looked at.
I have never been a huge supporter of Bryant or even a fan of his, but I respect his game enough to know that rarely do you get a chance to pick up one of the greatest players in the history of the game. It is a move that would probably shift the balance of power in the Eastern conference and one that would have other teams frightened to play the Raptors night-in and night-out. As usual, you can email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org .