Lakers’ deal for Raptors star has a shot
As promised, today’s column is pure basketball, triggered by trade winds.
A Lakers source told me the team had its sights set high, as usual, and
planned to target the possible acquisition of Chris Bosh when it got
closer to the 3 p.m. Feb. 18 trade deadline, and the Raptors might be
more likely to move their Olympian/All-Star while still entitled to
It commonly is believed Bosh almost certain is to flee Toronto after this season, when he has the right to opt out of the final year ($17.1 million) of his contract.
My source believes the Lakers will offer Andrew Bynum for Bosh (if they haven’t done so already) well before the deadline expires. In itself, the one-for-one swap is impossible to make. Bynum’s “base year” essentially allows L.A. to take back but half of his salary this year ($12.5M). Of course, that restriction is lifted when next year’s salary ($13.7M) activates come July 1, at which time a sign-and-trade transaction would be feasible.
The possibility of such a deal makes sense to me. First of all, Bynum is a legit starting center for the defending champions. He also has three years left on his contract after this one.
As for the Raptors, despite the severe offseason roster renovation, they’re not giving any indication of being more than just a one-and-done playoff group this season and in the foreseeable future.
What’s Bosh’s motivation to stay? Clearly, management’s sense of urgency to protect its principal asset cannot be accentuated enough. If that’s impractical, the organization cannot afford to lose Bosh without receiving equitable compensation.
Asked by e-mail about all of the above and whether the Raptors and Lakers have discussed a Bosh-Bynum proposal, team president Bryan Colangelo, who surely is being contacted on a daily basis regarding the availability of his franchise player — especially when the team was 11-17 — he replied in kind:
“For the record, I am not actively seeking a deal or discussing Bosh with any team, much less the Lakers.