Tracy McGrady took the first chance he got to leave Toronto and ended up playing for the Orlando Magic in his home state.
Chris Bosh will have a similar decision to make this summer, and
McGrady – who like Bosh began his career in Canada – can see the
All-Star forward skipping town.
"He’s been here for quite some time now," McGrady said. "He personally has been successful. The team really hasn’t done that much. Maybe he wants to start off fresh with another franchise. Or maybe he’s doing it for tax reasons.
"I’m not speaking (for) Chris Bosh. I’m just saying, the individual that wants to move on . . . there are different reasons why a guy wouldn’t want to play (in Toronto)."
The Knicks’ primary target this summer is LeBron James, but team president Donnie Walsh has also cleared enough salary-cap space to sign two max free agents. Conceivably, the Knicks could present James with an offer to pick which other high-profile free agent he’d like to play with. Coincidentally, LeBron has previously said he wants to play with Bosh.
Friday night, Bosh, who was unavailable for comment, was scratched from the lineup due to an upset stomach. He had missed Toronto’s previous six games with a sprained ankle.
The Raptors, who have made it clear that they want to re-sign Bosh, have an advantage because they can offer him the most money.
According to a league source, the Raptors believe that if Bosh doesn’t return they would consider using him in a sign-and-trade. In fact, any deal with the Knicks would likely have to include free-agent-to-be David Lee.
When Raptors president Bryan Colangelo was asked about Bosh’s future Friday night, he said, "the intention all along has been to retain him. We still remain the most viable option for him to get the most money and the most years. And that’s not changing."
Bosh, who is from Dallas, remains noncommittal about his future. If the Raptors fail to reach the second round of the playoffs, there is a strong possibility that Bosh will leave.
In Bosh’s two previous trips to the playoffs, Toronto lost in the first round.
McGrady’s one and only postseason appearance with Toronto came in 2000, when the Knicks beat the Raptors in four games. At times, McGrady was the best player on the court, which helped him in the free agent market. Three months after that playoff