MIAMI — As Chris Bosh made his debut appearance as a studio analyst for TNT on Monday night, he sounded like a man who isn’t ready to give up on his playing career.
During the first of his five appearances as part of the network’s new “Players Only” series, Bosh said he’s “still staying ready.”
“My health is great,” Bosh said during the broadcast. “I’m feeling good, still working out and just really still staying ready.”
Bosh stopped short of offering any specifics about his future, and he did not say whether he plans on resuming his NBA playing career. The 11-time All-Star has not played in an NBA game since Feb. 9, 2016 due to issues related to blood clotting.
Even though Bosh has not played for the Heat or been around the team this season, he still counts as part of Miami’s 15-man roster. The Heat have listed Bosh as inactive on game nights without a reason for his absence.
Heat president Pat Riley said in September that Bosh’s career with Miami “probably is over” after he failed a team physical before the season. Bosh helped the Heat win two NBA titles in 2012 and 2013.
Miami became eligible to apply for salary-cap relief from Bosh’s contract on Feb. 9 — the one-year anniversary of the last game he played. But the Heat have not begun that process yet, with the expectation that the team will until after March 1 to apply for Bosh’s contract to come off the books.
By waiting until after March 1 to release Bosh, he won’t be eligible to play in the playoffs this season with another team. This benefits the Heat because if Bosh were to play 25 total games this season for another team/teams — in the regular season and playoffs — then his cap hit would go back on Miami’s books even though it has already released him.
By waiting until after March 1 to release Bosh, it basically guarantees the Heat will be able to use his cap space, if granted by the NBA, during free agency this upcoming summer without the danger of it being taken back. If Miami is able to get Bosh’s contract off the books, it will free up an extra $25.3 million to push the Heat’s cap space to about $40 million this upcoming summer.
Bosh is being paid $23.7 million this season and $52.1 million over the next two seasons. He’s guaranteed to be paid the full amount of his current contract whether it counts toward Miami’s salary cap or not.
Bosh is still in contact with a few Heat players, but he has not been around the team this season. Not being on a structured NBA schedule has been an adjustment for the 32-year-old.
“I think one of the interesting things that I didn’t anticipate was my mental health, and that’s something that as athletes we have to take into regard because we’re used to a set schedule and we’re used to a certain type of world,” Bosh said during the broadcast. “And that’s something that I’ve really had to work on for my well-being.”