I know there's already a fanpost with the rumor from Peter Vecsey in it, but this is more for discussion of how the trade would work, if it's worth doing for the price, and how this improves the Laker team this year and going forward after this year.
Without further ado:First of all, this trade can't happen straight up, as Vecsey points out in his article. The only trade that actually works with both of the players mentioned has the Lakers sending Bynum, Morrison, and Jordy to the Raptors for Bosh. That's Bynum and our two expiring contracts and it also uses up both the trade exceptions that the Lakers have (Mihm & Radmanovic). That moves the proper amount of salary both ways. If the Lakers are giving up Jordy, who I think does have value, and since they can't take anything back from the Raptors (for salary reasons), I think that L.A. should also get a future #1 pick (lottery protected) in the deal as well.
Keep in mind, Bosh is leaving at the end of the season -- he's as good as gone. So if you're the Raptors and you can get a potential franchise center who's under contract for 3 more seasons, you should do whatever you can to get that deal done. There's no other deal out there for you as good as this one, and you're getting a backup PG to boot. If that isn't worth throwing in a #1 pick that's lottery protected, then Brian Colangelo is just stupid.
Second, this makes the Lakers much, MUCH better. I don't understand why people think that this Laker team needs a true center -- what team in the West has a franchise center that we're going to have to go through in the playoffs? San Antonio has Duncan........and that's about it. Amare doesn't play like a center, Kaman isn't a franchise guy, Oden isn't ever healthy, etc. Bynum doesn't slow down any of those guys anyway, and he's not effective on offense when Pau is in the game anyway. If the Lakers are healthy, Bynum is expendable. Let's look at his impact at both ends:
Look at all the teams in the West that play the pick and roll/slash and kick game: Phoenix, Houston (without Yao), Utah, Denver, OKC, Portland (without Oden/Przybilla). Bosh is a a lot better defender on the pick and roll than Bynum is, and you'd know that if you watched any of the Olympic team from 2008. Bosh played tons of crunch time minutes against the European teams that play nothing but slash and kick/pick and roll basketball. He was an invaluable defender for Team USA, and was also their leading rebounder. A finishing lineup of Fisher, Kobe, Odom, Bosh, Pau would be long and athletic, tough on the boards, and absolutely killer against screen and roll teams defensively. Sub in Artest for Pau, and you have a physical freak of a lineup without really sacrificing any rebounding and Bosh can guard any post player in the West not named Duncan and at least hold his own, plus, Duncan would then have to guard Bosh or Lamar at the other end of the floor, and I'm not sure he's equipped to guard players who can move him that far away from the basket at this point in his career. Bosh is also a better matchup for the more athletic forwards in the West (Stoudamire, Boozer, K-Mart, Durant & Green, Aldridge, and Nowitzki. If you're Dallas, where do you hide Dirk on defense? You can exploit him with just about any lineup where 2 of Pau, Odom, or Bosh are on the floor.
Lastly, can you imagine running a 3/4 court press for 4-5 minutes per half with a lineup of Brown/Kobe/Artest/Odom/Bosh? Wouldn't every team's backup guards shit their pants? What a great way to keep teams off balance on the offensive end -- putting that press on intermittently throughout the game.
Bosh is the best face up post player in the league right now (unless you count Kobe or Carmelo), has 20 foot range on his jumper, and is leading the league in double-doubles. The 4 and 5 spots aren't any different in the triangle offense really, and Pau actually plays better in the 5 spot because he likes being closer to the basket and is great at reading basket cuts and double team rotations. Bosh could face up on the side of the court away from the ball or at the high post and can knock down 15 footers when his man doubles, or he can be the post up guy and Pau takes the spot at the opposite wing, high post, or short corner -- ready to flash to the bucket on any double. You can go 4 around 1 with Pau or Bosh in the middle as well. Bottom line, we're a lot tougher matchup offensively for any team in the league (and specifically the West) with Bosh instead of Bynum.
Long Term Value:
The Lakers can't afford to sign anyone to a max contract as a free agent, so they only chance they would have is working a sign and trade with Toronto this summer, or (and much better) making a deal for Bosh right now, since teams can offer a max extension to their own free agents with the Bird rule. You also get the added benefit of unleashing that lineup on the league for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Also keep in mind the by dumping Bynum's contract, that frees up 2/3 of the money needed to offer Bosh a Max extension after the season to keep him in L.A. for at least the next 4-6 seasons. Sure, you'll be paying out the wazoo ($60M+) for Kobe, Pau, and Bosh, but you'll also be a near lock to win 65 games for the next 2-3 seasons, Kobe can rest more during games because you have another scoring option, and Doc Buss as shown that he doesn't mind spending money if it means bringing titles home (unless you're employing a historically unmotivated fat ass who shows up out of shape 4 straight seasons...and we all know who I'm talking about). This would give Kobe a realistic shot at 6 and possibly 7 titles -- that makes me giddy just thinking about it.
I now turn this over to the SS&R community. What do you think about this trade, given how I've broken it down here? Will Buss be able to afford a $120M payroll? Is Bosh worth giving up Bynum and Jordy? Do you think that the Lakers have a better shot at winning the title with Bosh or with Bynum and Jordy (keep in mind how those Rocket guards ran circles around Fisher prior to his suspension in the playoffs last year).