Chris Bosh is open to staying in Toronto, but no more than he's open in playing for at least four other NBA teams.
An NBA source confirmed the Raptors all-star forward and all-time leading scorer and rebounder included Toronto among a list of five teams he's interested in playing for next season.
The pending free-agent also named the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Miami Heat as team he's open to joining.
Under NBA salary cap rules the Raptors can offer Bosh the most money and the longest term on his next deal, which would clock in at a maximum of about $130-million (U.S.) over six years. If Bosh were to leave as a free agent the most he would be able to sign for would be five years and $100- million.
One way to get the maximum contract and still leave the franchise would be a sign-and-trade: The Raptors would sign Bosh to the longer, richer deal and then trade him so they could get some assets in return. Both Bosh and Raptors president Bryan Colangelo have said they've agreed to work together on a sign-and-trade arrangement if it turned out Bosh was determined to leave the only franchise he's played all seven seasons of his NBA career.
By submitting a list of teams - first reported by ESPN.com - it allows the Raptors and the teams named to begin negotiating a possible deal.
It was also reported that Bosh's ultimate destination might hinge on that of fellow free agent LeBron James, suggesting if James does leave Cleveland, Bosh and James might sign together in New York or Chicago; if James stays in Cleveland there is speculation he might team with fellow Olympic teammate Dwyane Wade in Miami.
Of the teams listed the Lakers might have the assets most attractive to Toronto: Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol would both be natural fits alongside Andrea Bargnani in the frontcourt, but with the Lakers surging toward a second consecutive title breaking up their team seems increasingly unlikely.
Also interesting was the teams not on the list: According sources Bosh does not want to play in his home state of Texas, leaving the Houston Rockets - reported as determined suitors for the power forward - on the outside looking in, along with San Antonio and his hometown Dallas Mavericks.
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