Bosh keeps options open

Chris Bosh's focus is on improving his game, not signing a contract. (Sun Media/Dave Thomas)

Chris Bosh's focus is on improving his game, not signing a contract. (Sun Media/Dave Thomas)

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

Chris Bosh reiterated yesterday what he has categorically stated in the past.

The Raptors franchise player sees no point in signing an extension and is prepared to enter one of the most coveted free-agent classes in NBA history next summer.

"(When) I signed a three-year (extension in 2006) I had a goal in mind and that was to put myself in the best position (in 2010)," Bosh told reporters yesterday as he served as guest drawmaster for Sunday's Woodbine Oaks.

"I'm thinking I just want to stick to my goal, stick to what I was doing. That's a part of the plan. I just want to address things (after) next season. There's a reason why I did things the way I did them back then."

GM Bryan Colangelo can offer an extension as early as next month.

The spectre of Bosh leaving has hovered over the franchise, much like it has in Cleveland (Le-Bron James) and Miami (Dwyane Wade) because neither of the game's young stars are signed beyond next season.

It doesn't mean Bosh is destined to depart, but it certainly puts Colangelo on the clock.

Bosh is tired of being pushed around in the post and it's pretty clear he's not going to be manhandled in any potential negotiations.

In the little Bosh did have to say on the topic of his future in Toronto, the most compelling was the revelation that there is going to be no hometown discount.

In other words, it's a max contract or no deal as far as Bosh is concerned.

Asked yesterday if he felt he was worth such a contract, Bosh didn't hesitate. "Without a doubt. I really don't see any negotiation about that part."

But for anyone wanting to know the direction he might be leaning when it comes to his future, Bosh said again that he has not made up his mind.

As for taking less than a max deal to allow Colangelo to beef up the rest of the lineup, Bosh doesn't sound like a guy who would consider that.

"An old school guy told me: 'Take advantage. You can't play this game forever. Make sure you maximize your potential,' " Bosh said.

When it was put to Bosh that he was saying no to a hometown discount, Bosh laughed before replying, "In a nice way."

For now, Bosh's focus is on improving his game.

And this summer, that means hitting the weight room hard and hitting the dinner table often.

He has been in the gym for a couple of weeks now (earlier than ever before in his career) working with strength trainer Ken Roberson of Dallas in the hopes of adding muscle and possibly bulk to his slender frame.

"I got tired of looking at these bigger guys," Bosh said. "It really motivated me to get a lot stronger."

Bosh admitted he tried to bulk up two or three years ago but when he didn't see the results he got discouraged and didn't stay with it.

"I was like doing this, doing that, doing this and I wasn't seeing any results," Bosh said. "I think perseverance is a big thing for me this summer."

Early in the process, it sounds like Bosh is having more of a problem keeping up with the diet portion of his new lifestyle more than the physical activity.

"I'm eating all the time -- four or five meals a day," he said.

"It's hard. I mean, I eat three meals a day but it's not like I'm killing the food. I eat until I'm full and that's it. Now I have a schedule and it doesn't matter how I feel (hungry or not), I eat."

So expect a bigger Bosh for next season and beyond. Just don't ask what uniform he'll be wearing the next few years.


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