MILWAUKEE – One year ago tomorrow, Chris Bosh scored 18 points, grabbed five rebounds and added two assists as the Miami Heat were hammered at home by the Spurs.
Bosh played 35 minutes and took 12 shots, making half of them.
Because of recurring blood clot issues and a failed physical in September, that was the last game Bosh played. The question remains if it is the final game of a career that is headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
And with that one-year anniversary coming Thursday, the Heat now are allowed to apply for salary-cap relief from Bosh’s contract, one in which he is being paid $23.7 million this season and $52.1 million the next two years.
But do not expect this day to arrive with any news. In fact, it should will be at least three more weeks before the Heat address Bosh’s contract.
If Miami waits until at least March 1 to waive Bosh they no longer risk the 32-year-old forward playing in enough games this season to allow the $25.3 million he is due in 2017-18 to go back on Miami’s books. The Heat would lose that extra cap space if Bosh were released sooner than March 1, signed with another team and then played 25 total games in the regular season and playoffs. Players signed after March 1 are not eligible for the playoffs.
And although there have been multiple reports saying Bosh is not in basketball shape and will not attempt a comeback this season – and may never play again – that is a risk the Heat likely are not willing to take.
Additionally, some doubt if Bosh would even be medically cleared to play.
Without Bosh’s money on the books from a cap standpoint, the Heat figure to have at least $40 million in cap space this summer to pursue free agents.
Bosh still is on the Heat’s 15-man roster and will remain so until he is released. He is listed as inactive for each game. And the 11-time All-Star will receive the entire amount of his contract even if he never plays again, although the Heat could receive insurance relief from paying the full amount.
Last summer Bosh insisted he was working toward a return to the NBA and appeared to dig in even deeper after Heat President Pat Riley said in September that his career with Miami probably was over.
But he seemed to have soften that stance in January.
Speaking at a trade show in Las Vegas, Bosh said he was “kind of getting the taste of retirement now.” And he appears to be preparing for life after basketball.
“I’m still learning more about myself and my situation, and really off the court how to function there because I’m kind of getting the taste of retirement now,” Bosh told the Associated Press. “Just trying to navigate those waters because it gets a little complicated sometimes. … Hoping one day that the stars align and I figure some things out and things kind of just go my way and I’ll be able to do what I want to do. I don’t know what that is yet.”
Bosh has attended several functions, spoke at several events and spent more time with his family during his first full season off since he started playing basketball.
Bosh was hoping to return this season after having his last two end at the All-Star break when the blood clots were discovered. And although he was cleared by independent doctors, according to reports more blood clots were discovered in September causing him to fail the team physical.
Bosh spent six seasons with the Heat. He was part of the Big Three, coming to the Heat via free agency in 2010 along with LeBron James to team up with Dwyane Wade. That trio led the Heat to four Finals and two titles.
But Bosh was lauded for re-signing with Miami in 2014 after James opted to return to Cleveland. The deal was for five years and $118.7 million contract, all of it guaranteed.