Raptors Re-Sign Chris Bosh to Contract Extrension

uly 14, 2006

TORONTO (CP) -- The Toronto Raptors have locked up their star player.

The Raptors signed all-star forward Chris Bosh to a contract extension as expected Friday. The deal, which goes into affect at the beginning of 2007-08 season, is for three years plus a player option for the fourth, and would pay him nearly $65 million US over four years.

In signing Bosh, the Raptors secured the key component of GM Bryan Colangelo's otherwise revamped roster.

Chris Bosh hopes to represent the Raptors at the All-Star Game for many years to come. (NBAE/Getty Images)size>

``I think the future is very positive for the franchise,'' Bosh said Friday at a news conference at the Air Canada Centre.

The six-foot-10 Bosh led the Raptors in scoring last season, with 22.5 points and 9.2 rebounds a game, and was named to the Eastern Conference all-star team for the first time.

His performance was one of the few high notes in another disappointing season for the Raptors, who finished 27-55 and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

The 22-year-old Bosh missed the final 13 games of the season with a sprained thumb, and the team went 1-12 in his absence.

Bosh had a career high 37 points on Dec. 17, 2005, against Detroit and 22 rebounds on March 25, 2005, versus Philadelphia.

Bosh's extension came as little surprise. He's been vocal about his love of Toronto and his desire to stay here, saying the hiring of Colangelo last February was huge reason to stick with the Raptors.

Still, it was good new for the Raptors, who have been building around Bosh since he was drafted fourth out of Georgia Tech in 2003, and has been the undisputed team leader since Vince Carter left for the New Jersey Nets in December, 2004.

``We're here today talking about the future of this franchise,'' Colangelo said. ``This is a terrific opportunity to address making Chris Bosh the cornerstone of the foundation as we move forward building this franchise.''

Bosh, who will join the U.S. basketball team's training camp Sunday in Las Vegas, will lead a lineup of unfamiliar faces when training camp opens in the fall, as Colangelo continues to shape his team.

The Raptors signed swingman Anthony Parker out of the European powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv and made a deal with Philadelphia to acquire guard-forward John Salmons on Thursday.

Late last month Colangelo traded Charlie Villanueva to the Milwaukee Bucks for point guard T.J. Ford.

He also shipped Rafael Araujo to Utah for Kris Humphries and acquired some frontcourt help for Bosh in Slovenian centre Rasho Nesterovic from San Antonio for Matt Bonner and Eric Williams.

Colangelo selected Andrea Bargnani with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, and P.J. Tucker with his No. 35 pick.

Spanish forward Jorge Garbajosa is expected to join the team over the next couple of days, and Colangelo could bring in Slovenian forward Uros Slokar to replace the injured Pape Sow.

``Change was needed. It think we have a lot of guys who want to just want to win and are willing to bring hard work to the organization,'' Bosh said.


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