The key word is might. If power forward Chris Bosh, who can opt out of his contract next summer and become a free agent, remains with the Toronto Raptors, he could form with center Andrea Bargnani one of the NBA's truly elite low-post duos.
If Bosh bolts after this season, perhaps it will end up being B&E in Toronto. But don't think Bargnani and Reggie Evans would cause a tremendous amount of fear in the low post.
Right now, the top combinations of four and five men in the NBA are Orlando's Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis and the Lakers' Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Considering the importance of big guys, it's not surprising those pairs battled it out last June in the NBA Finals.
Of course, there's one statistic that doesn't look too good. The Raptors, expected by many to return to the playoffs after beefing up their roster, are a mere 7-9.
"Statistically, they're certainly putting up good numbers,'' Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo said of his duo. "But, at the end of the day, we're not judged on stats. We're judged on team performance.''
Lately, that been quite uneven. The Raptors have dropped five of their past seven games, including an embarrassing 116-81 loss Wednesday at Charlotte.
"I would say we're up there, but we still have a long ways to go,'' Bosh said in comparing Toronto's duo to other top NBA low-post combinations. "We're both young players. There are still a lot of things that we can get better at ... I think [Bargnani is] getting more comfortable and confident.''
Bargnani, a 42-percent shooter from three-point range who is hardly a traditional center, certainly is. Taken with the top pick in the 2006 draft, Bargnani at times looked to be in jeopardy of any BB initials standing for "Big Bust.'' In his first two seasons, he averaged 10.8 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 40.5 percent.
But Bargnani, 24, started to turn things around during the second half of last season, and finished the campaign with averages of 15.4 points and 5.3 rebounds. Although he's still a poor rebounder for a 7-footer, he did enough to get a five-year, $50 million contract extension that kicks in for 2010-11.
Some of Bargnani's future development hinges on whether Bosh returns. Any player would be much better alongside a four-time All-Star.
"We've been doing a pretty good job together,'' Bargnani said. "The most important thing is to try to win (so Bosh will stay). That's the main thing. I hope he stays. But I don't know. Nobody knows ... He will do whatever he wants to do. I just hope he stays.''
Bosh doesn't plan to make any decisions on his future until after the season. He he did tell FanHouse last week that, with Miami's Dwyane Wade having brought up a desire to play with Bosh, he will consider the Heat.
For now, the Raptors are trying to avoid extinction. They play at Boston on Friday and are home Sunday to Phoenix, which doesn't appear to be much of an oasis for their dry spell.
But perhaps Bosh and Bargnani can resume putting up some games similar to the ones they had while helping the Raptors to a 3-2 start. They combined for 49 points and 21 rebounds in an impressive opening-night win over Cleveland, for 47 points and 20 rebounds in win over Detroit, and for 61 points and 20 rebounds in a hard-fought 125-116 loss at Orlando.
Although Denver coach George Karl said Bosh and Bargnani "offensively might be as good as'' any four-five duo, both players have seen their scoring numbers fall off recently. Quite simply, they're not getting a lot of help.
"They're working good together, but I think we've got to get used to all the new guys,'' said Raptors point guard Jose Calderon.
Two key new guys have disappointed so far. Forward Hedo Turkoglu, acquired in a sign-and-trade with Orlando, has seen his scoring average drop from 19.5 in 2007-08 to 16.8 last season to 13.7. Guard Jarrett Jack, a restricted free agent signed away from Indiana, has seen his average fall from 13.1 last season to 7.5.
But there remains optimism north of the border. And the Raptors' brass only can envision what the future holds if Bosh eventually gets locked into a deal keeping him in Toronto alongside Bargnani, whose contract runs until the summer of 2015.
The 6-foot-10 Bosh, 25 and in his seventh season, long has arrived as a star. Bargnani has a chance to get there, especially if he can improve his rebounding.
"When he's rebounding eight to 10 a game, that's when he'll hit that next level,'' Colangelo said. "The points are going to come. He can score. He's proven that ... Rebounding is what he really needs to amp up ... [Better rebounding by Bargnani and Bosh] could be a very lethal combination.''
Colangelo is pleased with Bargnani's development so far, having realized it would take some time coming from Italy at age 20 and learning to play center despite being a true power forward. But some have wondered why the Raptors gave Bargnani such a big deal when they could have let him become a restricted free agent next summer and then matched any offer.
"We didn't want to take a chance putting him out there in the summer of 2010 with all the flexibility that has been built up with all of those teams,'' Colangelo said. "We had the ability to match but it would have put us in a tight situation from a [luxury] tax perspective. So we took care of business right out of the gate, and we felt we got a fair-market deal. If he had a breakout year this year, which he looks like he's having, or building on what he did last year, it might be a different situation.''
The Raptors are also doing whatever they can to appease Bosh. That included locking up a big man alongside him.
"I was very happy about [the contract extension],'' said Bargnani, who is seeking to become more of a low-post presence after mostly firing away from the outside in his first three seasons. "I like to be in Toronto ... Coming over from Europe, especially if you're a big guy, is difficult so I knew it would take a while [to develop].''
Since his arrival, Bargnani has watched Bosh regularly fly to the All-Star Game in February. He hopes some day to do the same.
"That's the dream of every NBA player,'' said Bargnani, the first Italian to make the NBA. "I've got to work hard for that. It's still a long way away.''
It might not take that long if Bosh sticks around.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson.