As teams prepare themselves to chase some of the biggest names in basketball, the Golden State Warriors know the biggest prize for them would be to land Love. However, negotiations stalled around Klay Thompson and whether he should be part of the package. The longer this standoff lasts, the more anxious Warriors fans seem ready to crack under the pressure and pull the trigger.
While everyone in the NBA is waiting to see where Anthony and James will go, the Warriors should seriously consider a sign a trade deal with Miami centered around David Lee and Harrison Barnes for Chris Bosh. With Bosh, the Warriors still acquire the desired stretch-4 without dealing away one of their future superstars in Thompson.
Offensively, Bosh may not demand the respect around the league that Kevin Love will, but anyone who watches basketball clearly sees his dramatic shooting improvement and range. His ability to hit the three consistently is exactly what the Warriors covet in Love. Bosh also posses a deadly midrange shooter as well as a traditional back-to-the-basket offense.
Unlike the Heat, whose offense revolves around attacking the basket, the Warriors offense would allow Bosh to play closer to the rim and opens up more space for him to operate. While he adopted beautifully to the team’s need, Bosh was often the third option and his playmaking was stifled by the presence of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. With the Warriors, Bosh has a chance to become the 20-10 guy he was back in Toronto while taking pressure of the Warriors’ shooting. The possibility of adding Bosh to the lineup should quickly erase any lingering over-affection for Kevin Love.
On defense, Bosh clearly has the advantage over Love. Not only does Bosh’s length and athleticism allow him to guard smaller wing players one-on-one, but it also allows him to wreak havoc as a pick and roll defender. In Miami, he was often the tallest Heat player on the court and had to patrol the paint. With Andrew Bogut behind him, Bosh does not have to worry about easy buckets at the rim and will be given the freedom to step into passing lanes and disrupt the offense. His rebounding ability, especially at 6’11″, leaves a lot to be desired, though the Warriors can mask that with great team ball as they do in the backcourt. If the Warriors do pick up Love, the defensive problems on the interior will still be present. Bosh has the ability to bolster the defense while still providing the offensive skill set the Warriors admire in Love.
For Miami, the run is clearly over, whether they want to believe it or not. The Big Three appears to be disbanded and there is little chance that Miami will be able to bring all of them back. Even if they manage to do that, with all the heavyweights in the West, there is no way the Heat can win the title, even if they stroll through the unbelievably weak Eastern Conference. By taking on the last two years of Lee’s contract, the Heat may be able to acquire Barnes for bargain basement prices instead of losing Bosh for nothing. If the Heat are realistic about their organization, they should realize it is time to move on. Picking up a solid veteran and a talented young player should be enough for them to pull the trigger.
In a league as star-oriented as the NBA, it is easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding all-world caliber players. However, as the Spurs have shown over the last three decades, it is the team with chemistry that puts winning first that achieves the ultimate glory.
If getting Love means breaking up the most potent backcourt in recent history, the Warriors are better off looking for other options. Chris Bosh not only provides the offensive skill set the Warriors are looking for, but is also less of a liability on defense. When the difference between the two means keeping Thompson, trading for Bosh should be the easy choice.