Chris to cash in with Raps

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

For Chris Bosh, absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder.

It has been two months since Bosh pulled on a Raptors jersey, but his feelings about the franchise and the city are as warm as ever.

In an interview with the Denver Post this past weekend, Bosh said that he "can't wait" to sign a contract extension with the Raptors this summer, which will see him remain in Toronto for at least six years.

Teams can sign free agents and pen players to contract extensions on July 12, and can begin negotiations on July 1. Until that time, Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo and Bosh's agent, Henry Thomas, will not comment on the situation. But from all reports, there shouldn't be a problem.

"I love Toronto," Bosh told the Post, from the NBA final, where he is doing TV work. "The people are nice. The city is nice. If we win, we can sell out every night."

The only downside to the recent interview was the headline over the story -- Raptors hold off extinction with Bosh back -- which suggests that the franchise is a step away from relocating to another city, a frequent misconception in the U.S.

In reality, for a team that has not qualified for the playoffs since 2002, attendance at the Air Canada Centre has been stable and the team's ownership never has indicated a desire to look at other markets.

Bosh added that he is enthusiastic about the leadership brought forth by the newly-hired Colangelo, the 2005 NBA executive of the year, and is confident that, no matter what the Raptors do on draft day (June 28), the team is on the cusp of becoming a playoff contender.

"It's a work in progress," he said. "I can focus on building a championship team there ... If I know where I'll be, I'll worry about the team and make us better."


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