Bosh can opt out of his deal next year
Colangelo hopes an uncertain economy will be enough to keep the four-time All-Star off the open market and with Toronto for as many as five more seasons.
Bosh has two years and approximately $33 million remaining on his current contract, but can opt out after next season, joining a hotly anticipated group of free agents that could include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Amare Stoudemire.
A six-year veteran who averaged 22.7 points and 10.0 rebounds this year, Bosh signed his current contract on July 14, 2006. Under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, Toronto can re-sign Bosh for three more seasons after the three-year anniversary of that deal.
"Chris is still the best player on this team and thus will remain the cornerstone of the franchise," Colangelo said Monday, recapping Toronto's 33-49 season. "I will sit down and talk to him and his agent this summer about the possibility of signing an extension."
With the salary cap expected to go down and world financial markets still in flux, Colangelo expects the economy to "change options for players." As such, he'll pitch security and stability to Bosh when they begin negotiations.
"It's not out of the realm of reason, especially with the changing economic climate and where things are, there might be a model that actually looks safer to sign the deal now," Colangelo said. "We will explore that, we'll talk about it. I'm sure he'll review those alternatives and options and we'll see if it makes sense for him. If not, there's still no reason to panic and trade Chris Bosh."
If Bosh rejects the idea of a long-term commitment, however, Colangelo may be forced to explore trade options.
"If it's there and there's an opportunity to improve your basketball team, then obviously you make that move," Colangelo said.
Sorting out Bosh's future is just one item on Colangelo's to-do list as he tries to point Toronto back into the playoffs. The Raptors finished 13th in the 15-team Eastern Conference, six games out of a postseason berth. It's just the third time in 14 seasons as a GM that Colangelo has not reached the playoffs.
"Quite honestly, I didn't look at our record much this year," Colangelo said. "I had a tough time swallowing it."
To make the standings more palatable next season, Colangelo must decide whether to bring back free agent forward Shawn Marion, acquired in a midseason trade with Miami; guard Anthony Parker; and forward Joey Graham.
If he can't bring back Marion, Colangelo will try to replace him in a sign-and-trade.
"I have an idea of the teams that are interested in Shawn," Colangelo said. "With the market being pretty thin out there, his best option would be to utilize us as a conduit to get what he's looking for."
Toronto will try to re-sign swingman Carlos Delfino, who played in Russia this year, part of an effort to make the roster more "maniacal."
"We're constantly looking for that fierceness and we sorely lack it," Colangelo said.
Also undecided is the fate of interim coach Jay Triano, who took over after Colangelo fired Sam Mitchell following an 8-9 start.
Colangelo acknowledged that agents for other coaches have contacted him, but said he has not conducted any interviews. He said Triano's strong relationship with the players gives the former assistant "a very good shot at maintaining the job."
As for the status of assistants Alex English, Mike Evans and Gord Herbert, Colangelo said it's "safe to assume there will be change" in the rest of the coaching staff.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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