After Sunday’s home loss to Chicago, the Raptors are barely alive in their battle for the 8th and final playoff spot, and following the Toronto press’ recent evisceration of Hedo Turkoglu, The Sun’s Frank Zicarelli provides similar treatment of outta commission Chris Bosh.

Word around the league is that someone got into Chris Bosh™s ear, convincing the face of the Raptors to shut down mentally for fear of compromising this summer™s free-agent windfall.

Up until last week™s production, when Bosh returned to his high level and was named Eastern Conference player of the week, there was merit to the gossip.

At first, you want to dismiss the talk because Bosh never has been the kind of pro to take nights off.

He™ll disappear against opponents when properly scouted, but to not put in an honest effort never has been part of Bosh™s makeup.

But then comes a string of games when Bosh isn™t attacking the basket, not controlling the boards and not imposing his will, and all that conjecture becomes valid.

Depending on whom one listens to, whatever happened might have done considerable damage to Bosh™s relationship with the franchise, enough to the point where the team is no longer interested in giving Bosh a max deal.

How precisely does “shutting down mentally” (and getting a very public rep for having done so) do anything but compromise Bosh’s market value this summer? And what might other free agents make of Toronto as a future destination given the propensity for such whispering campaigns?