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Chris Bosh was drafted fourth overall by the Raptors in 2003. ((Chris Young/Canadian Press))

Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh isn't looking at a contract extension as much as he is looking to becoming a free agent in 2010.

Bosh, 25, told reporters Thursday that he will test the free-agent market next July 1, something he set up for himself in previous negotiations with Toronto.

Bosh has one year and $15.7 million US remaining on the extension he signed July 14, 2006, and intends to become a free agent at the same time as other elite players including LeBron James, the league's most valuable player, Victoria's Steve Nash, a two-time NBA MVP, and scoring champion Dwyane Wade. 

Bosh can expect to command top dollar as part of such a star-studded crop, and realized that when he signed a shorter extension with Toronto three years ago.

"I signed a three-year [and] I had a goal in mind and that was to put myself in the best position [for free agency]," Bosh said. "I'm thinking I just want to stick to my goal, stick to what I was doing.

"That is a part of the plan … There is a reason why I did things the way I did them back then."

According to the collective bargaining agreement, Toronto can try to re-sign Bosh to a three-year extension once three years has elapsed on his current deal.

Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said April 20, following Toronto's season finale, that he would speak to Bosh about negotiating such an extension.

"I will sit down and talk to him and his agent this summer about the possibility of signing an extension," Colangelo said. "I'm sure [Bosh] will review those alternatives and options and we will see if it makes sense for him.

Bosh, a four-time all-star, averaged 22.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 38.0 minutes in 77 starts last season, his sixth with Toronto. 

But the Raptors finished a disappointing 33-49 overall and out of the playoffs, prompting speculation that he might be reluctant to commit beyond next season unless the team improves drastically.

"It puts pressure on both sides," Bosh said. "It puts pressure on me to perform and it puts pressure on the organization to perform as well."

With files from The Canadian Press