Blog Entry

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

Posted on: July 6, 2010 9:32 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2010 9:35 pm

All's quiet on the free agency front. Too quiet. As we wait for the next bombshell, we decided to check in with Ken Berger and ask him for the latest on Chris Bosh's situation and how it affects the rest of the dominoes:

Matt Moore: Chris Bosh has all of a sudden moved into a catalyst-type position, if the reports of the sign-and-trade Cleveland option is true. Let's start there. What exactly would the Raptors be looking for in a package back, cap space and picks, or veteran assets?

Ken Berger: First, yes, the Raptors have told Bosh and his agent, Henry Thomas, that they're willing to explore a sign-and-trade with Cleveland. It's the most advantageous circumstance for everybody involved: LeBron stays and gets his max deal, Bosh leaves and gets his max deal, the Cavs become even more of a championship contender, and the Raptors get quality assets in return -- some combination of Anderson Varejao/J.J. Hickson, Anthony Parker/Jamario Moon, plus Delonte West (who'd be waived by Toronto with $4 million in savings because only $500,000 of his salary for next season is guaranteed) and possibly draft picks. (The Cavs don't have any extra ones, but have their own picks to offer). The problem is, Bosh doesn't want to go. He much prefers Miami, Chicago or the Nets. Thus, stalemate.

MM: We've been hearing strong indications the whole way through of Bosh to Miami. How many times has Bosh actually met with Pat Riley and Co., that you know of, and are you hearing the same?

KB: Once that I know of, and it's still in play. Miami also has explored Amar'e Stoudemire (committed to the Knicks) and Carlos Boozer (whom the Jazz are claiming they want to re-sign) as a running mate for Dwyane Wade. If Bosh wants to go to Miami on his own (without a sign-and-trade), it's more than doable; the Heat have the cap room. Problem is, Bosh would wind up with less money than Wade because of the 8 percent raises and five years he'd get vs. 10.5 percent raises and six years from Toronto. If Bosh is OK with that, Miami makes the most sense. If he wants to push for the sign-and-trade, the obstacle will be the Raptors; Miami doesn't have nearly the assets to trade that Cleveland does. One thing to consider: since Bosh would be going to a team with cap space, Toronto would get a massive trade exception, which will be very useful at the trade deadline when teams that are falling out of the playoff race are desperate to get out from under contracts. Bosh-to-Miami might not get the Raptors an immediate replacement -- a tough sell in the short term -- but with a little patience, they might do better in a few months. Is that a risk they're willing to take?

MM: Is New Jersey still in this thing at all?

KB: Although the Nets are on Bosh's preferred list if LeBron goes with him, those discussions aren't gaining any traction because the Cleveland scenario clearly takes precedence for the Raptors. Even the Rockets, in Bosh's home state of Texas, have some attractive pieces to offer (free-agent Luis Scola, Shane Battier, Trevor Ariza). So the Nets are in a little bit of a danger zone. Do they try to push things forward by making a play for Boozer, thus making themselves more attractive to Wade or LeBron (as the Knicks tried with Stoudemire?) Another option is David Lee, who wants to stay in the New York area and clearly isn't going back to the Knicks. Lee, probably attainable at $11-$12 million a year, is a better deal than all the other power forward on the market.

MM: How does Amar'e agreeing to a deal with New York affect Bosh? Does it raise or lower his value?

KB: Bosh's value is pretty much set; $125 million if Toronto pays him, $96 million is somebody else does. What Stoudemire going to the Knicks did was remove one possible destination and force LeBron and Wade to accelerate their decisions. The last thing either one wants is to return to his existing team with no superstar coming with him; although the Cavs believe they have the best to offer LeBron, having won 60-plus games two years in a row. With Stoudemire off the board, Bosh has the ability to lure LeBron or Wade with him. But if he wants to get all the money possible, he has to work with the Raptors. And to this point, he hasn't.

MM:  Are all the free agents basically waiting on each other, or do you expect one to kick-start the rest of the dominoes?

KB: One team executive told me Tuesday that the market has come to a "screeching halt" while teams and free agents wait for LeBron, Wade and Bosh to make a decision. To a degree, their decisions are intertwined. But at some point, each player is going to have to do what's best for him. When one of them shows his cards and commits to either staying put or leaving, the rest of it will come together in a flurry of activity that will be the opposite of the paralysis we're currently witnessing.


Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:54 pm

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

Is Bosh overrated which I can't agree with it. This man has 22+ and 10+ for over six season, and can you name me another one with same type of numbers??? And He played without great PG like Steve Nash or C.Paul or D-will that's unlike Amare, D.West or Gasol who have Bryant with him. No easy pass for Bosh for most of career but who still delivery those type of number that's outstanding to me as a insider power. Today, I think only D.Howard other than Bosh can do it by his own.

If without Bosh that Raptors can be the worst in the league, maybe even worse than Nets. If you don't believe that time would prove it.

Easily, Bosh will go to either D-wade or King James. so that's not too touch to make a decision and they have to concern about both money and possbility title running for next coming season.

Here is %
1. Heats 40%
2. Cavs 30%
3. Nets 30%

Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:26 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

How does CBS sport allow such racist, bigoted, and ignorant comments to be posted on its site?  This should have been taken down immediately and the user's account suspended permanently. I don't know, but I agree with you.
It sounds like they let Imus' twin on the boards.

As far as Bosh goes - sounds like it's all but certain that he will end up with Wade in Miami.  Ugghh.
If this happens, are the Chicago Bulls the worst free agent franchise in the NBA considering the big market
and the legacy of championships?  Are big time players really afraid of "MJ's shadow?"  I never believed it,
but I'm starting to now.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:23 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

ESPN reporting bosh to miami

IMHO, raptors should ask for: beasley, anthony, chalmers, wright, 2 or 3 1st round picks

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:10 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

How does CBS sport allow such racist, bigoted, and ignorant comments to be posted on its site?  This should have been taken down immediately and the user's account suspended permanently.

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:09 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

Although not discussed much by anyone, there are no state income taxes in FL for individuals which makes it very attractive to NBA players who often live there in the offseason.  Bosh's agents and manager know that this effectively means he'll be receiving 5% or more higher in his net pay over the life of any contract.  On a max contract, that's $12.5 million which isn't chump change.  Also, Bosh knows that Riley has coached and put together teams in multiple places that have won championships.  There are a number of pieces that would need to be added, but Riley likely has verbal agreements in place with a number of Miami's unrestricted FA's to re-sign with Miamia after they have secured Bosh and Wade.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: July 7, 2010 8:29 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

What Bosh has to understand is that he wont find a perfect scenario with any of those teams. But to me the team that makes the most sense is the Cavs. We would still have solid players in place if he came there. We'd still have Jamison, Mo Williams, Leon Powe, and either Moon or Jawad Williams.

We'd also have the mle. And the Cavs would look very attractive with Bosh aboard to fa's out there. We would still need a 2 guard and a center. But Bosh would make it easier. If he goes to the Heat, especially in a sign and trade, the Heat still have to sign a whole team. I like the Rockets scenario for him too. But of course it would be tougher to win in the West. And Yao is a question mark.

To me the Cavs make the most sense. But we'll see.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2010 7:37 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

This coming from a tough guy who hides behind a computer. Your racism is an obvious attempt at getting attention,. Yawn

Since: May 23, 2007
Posted on: July 7, 2010 3:13 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

King James stays at the Mistake by the Lake and sez his supporting cast is good enough to win a title...and if they acquire a young athletic center who can run the floor he would be correct. Chris Rock Bosh is gone from Toronto as he probably hates the cold, hates the taxes, and aren't these stars really just kids who wants to party?  Aren't the people giving the advice to these kids getting a % of the contracts so all these kids are getting advice to stay put where they get the max contract money.  But Bosh can poker-face Toronto into a sign and trade because Toronto can get something in return with a sign and trade and that also gets Bosh another 20+million.  Toronto can't afford the "no-sign-and-trade" option for Bosh if they ever want to sign stars in the future.  So Bosh go to Miami where Riley puts together the pieces for Toronto to do a sign and trade. 
Wade's kids are in Chicago and Wade's from there.  For an NBA star it's gotta be more fun to party in Miami than in the town your kids live in and where you grew up.   And Miami can pay more and they'll get Bosh. Wade stays.
David Lee is the next top tier guy and I don't see how the Stoudamire trade does anythiong but push Lee out. Lee goes to the Nets to make a hundred million plus with a shit team....although he could get that money in Chicago and make them a contender.  
That leaves the Bulls, Knicks, Nets with lots of cap space desperate to sign stars and paying big money to 2nd tier guys like Boozer and Mike Miller.  The Knicks will get desperate and maybe ply Carmelo from the Nuggets who will decide to part ways by his failure to ink an extension.  
Berger paints Walsh as a genius for the Stoudamire deal.  I see it as a huge mistake...unless he knew he couldn't sign Lee for max money, and I don't see why he would reach that conclusion unless Lee told him he's going to Cleveland...which would be deadly for the rest of the league...but I don't see the Cavs ownership committing that kind of money to both Lee and James.  In the end, the owners want to look like they've tried to get more than one superstar, but probably only the Nets billionaire and maybe the cruise ship guy in Miami will pay that money.  
I'm a Magic fan and hope they resign Reddick and keep Gortat...but I can see Air France Pietrus going to Toronto as a draw and the Magic doing well in that trade because Toronto needs to save face after Bosh bolts.

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:31 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

This was a well-done piece of analysis. If I read this correctly, Mr. Berger is saying that although Chris Bosh is the guy that both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James want, he is making things difficult by being somewhat recalcitrant and causing a stalemate as far as decision-making by the other two. As I read it, Berger seems to say that Wade and James will wait for Bosh only so long before they move on to Plan B. I agree with Berger that none of the top three wants to go back to his previous team without a running mate. And Bosh is definitely the best power forward out there - more versatile offensively than Carlos Boozer and a much better defender than Amar'e Stoudamire. 

So Bosh's options at this point are:

A. Sign and trade to Cleveland. This would be the best if he wants to win a ring, since Celeveland has a solid nucleus, a fellow A-list superstar and an incoming coach who has been to the FInals. And he would get paid as well, since Toronto could do a sign-and-trade.

B. Sign with Miami - no sign-and-trade. if this is Bosh's preferred destination, which Berger seems to think it is, then this would be a good number two. The Heat do not have as many pieces in place as does Cleveland, but they can offer an A-list superstar, a rock-star GM (and possibly coach), and some trade bait. And as Berger noted, they could give Toronto a massive trade exception. 

C. Sign and trade with New Jersey. If it is true that Bosh would only consider this if James comes with him (I do not believe there is any scenario that would put Wade in New Jersey), this is looking increasingly unlikely. The Nets do have money, and they have a fairly good young nucleus, but they have some issues in their organization and they are not in as good a position as Cleveland or Miami.

Ultimately, I think that Bosh will probably go to Miami with Wade, while James either goes to the Knicks or goes after a secondary star such as Boozer or Mike Miller (another free agent who is on everyone's short list of complementary teammates due to his shooting abilities). The only question will be how he works it.  I think he will probably end up working with Toronto to do a sign-and-trade with Miami. That way he gets his money and he gets to go to one of his preferred locations. But the next forty-eight hours ought to be very interesting fro all three - Bosh, Wade and James. 

Meanwhile, everyone has apparently missed that the two top contenders for the 2011 NBA title have shored themselves up for one more run at the rings. The Lakers quietly signed Steve Blake and got Phil Jackson back for one more season while the Boston Celtics brought back Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers. If Boston gets Ray Allen back, or can sign a good replacement, they will be the top two favorites for the 2011 title. Again. If they are both healthy, they have proven they are the top two teams in the League. Which would make all this hype meaningless - at least for this upcoming season.

Since: Nov 11, 2007
Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:00 am

Berger Says: The Chris Bosh stalemate

Geoff, not completely true. If they both leave their squads, there are always pros and cons.

In your scenario, they would assemble a great team, but they are not all about winning (as they relentlessly blabber, "it's all about winning"). They would both lose $30M. I have trouble telling a guy he should leave money on the table, even if $30M is a huge amount of money. Of course, these guys make a boatload of $ for about 10-14 years, and then they pretty much do nothing so they will try and get their max now.

If it's me, I take the measely $90M and win rings. We'll soon see what is actually important to them.

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