Armstrong: What's next for the Toronto Raptors?

Jack Armstrong
7/7/2010 3:46:11 PM
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With Chris Bosh's announcement that he's leaving the Toronto Raptors and joining the Miami Heat, TSN's NBA Analyst Jack Armstrong answered three burning questions that Raptors fans have about the franchise going forward.

Question 1: What will the team's next move be?

The major issue facing the Toronto Raptors in the next 24 hours is the possibility that Bosh does a sign-and-trade with the club, that will not only net Bosh a lot more money, but also gives the club some assets in return.

The issue though is that when I look at Miami's roster, there really isn't a lot there that wows me, or that I would want back in return.

If I'm the Heat's President Pat Riley, I would try to just sign Bosh under the cap, without giving up what limited assets the team has beyond Dwyane Wade.

For the Raptors right now, the most important thing is to look at the remainder of their roster and see what guys they can put in play in terms of tradable assets in order to change the dynamic of the roster that they currently have.

Anytime you lose a player of Bosh's magnitude, it's going to have a devastating impact on a franchise, particularly if you're not able to get anything of value back in return – if you get anything back at all.

Question 2: What will the impact of another star player leaving have on the Franchise?

From the prospective of how Toronto feels about itself as an NBA city, it's going to become that much harder because perception becomes reality.

It's also unfortunate that you have the U.S. media portraying Toronto as a small market, yet it's the fourth largest market in pro sports.

From a basketball standpoint, Bosh's departure makes recruiting more difficult from Bryan Colangelo and his staff and more importantly it makes life that much harder from a player retention standpoint. When you have players that you build relationships and your team with and they walk, it makes it that much harder.

Losing Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and now Chris Bosh in a 15-year stretch looks bad on the franchise, and maybe it's time that they look to change the model that they're using, or start recruiting different-type players.

Question 3: Will Bosh's handing of free agency hurt his legacy?

I think it will. I think Bosh could have maintained a much better rapport with the franchise and with the fan base itself just by being candid and upfront.

I think people respect the fact that in today's day and age pro sports is a transient world, and Bosh is entitled to make a decision to go anywhere he wants.

I just believe that some of the gloating and bragging about the recruiting process and the other franchises that were looking at him, made it more difficult for Raptors fans and the city to swallow Wednesday's news.

If you look at the organization, ownership, executives, coaches, support staff and fans, I think all of these people supported Bosh whole-heartedly and I just wish that it would have been a two-way street.

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