The Heat have not begun the process of clearing Chris Bosh’s contract from their salary cap yet.
Obviously, Miami wants to apply for salary-cap relief from Bosh’s contract before free agency this upcoming summer. But with a few months between now and then, the Heat don’t seem to be in a rush to begin that process unless they need his roster spot to make a move.
But free agent forward Jared Sullinger did meet with the Heat in recent days, making Bosh’s roster spot again a topic of conversation. The Heat’s 15-man roster is full, so releasing Bosh and starting the process of removing his contract from their books is one way to make room for an addition like Sullinger.
The Heat’s meeting with Sullinger was considered due diligence, as there is nothing imminent at this time. But Sullinger could be an option down the road.
Sullinger, 25, signed a one-year, $6 million contract with Toronto this past summer but missed the first 41 games with a foot injury. After playing in just 11 games for the Raptors this season, he was traded last month to the Suns — along with two second-round picks — for P.J. Tucker.
The Suns released Sullinger the next day, and he is eligible to play in the playoffs since he was released before the March 1 playoff-eligibility waiver deadline.
Sullinger, who was drafted by the Celtics with the 21st overall pick in the 2012 draft, averaged 3.4 points on 31.9 percent shooting and 2.5 rebounds in his short stint with Toronto this season. He was much more effective in Boston, averaging 11.1 points on 43.9 percent shooting and 7.7 rebounds per game over his first four NBA seasons — all spent with the Celtics.
Weight issues have proven to be an ongoing obstacle for Sullinger over his NBA career. In a Sunday article in the Boston Herald, Sullinger’s father, Satch Sullinger, said his 6-foot-9 son weighed “somewhere north of 315 pounds” during last season’s playoffs with the Celtics.
And as expected, Satch said foot surgery hurt Sullinger’s conditioning.
“People are looking for players with his ability who can help,” Satch Sullinger said to the Boston Herald. “But you have to make a commitment to yourself before you can help someone else. You’re under pressure — under the gun.
“He’s a Sullinger — he can handle being under the gun. Most people who get cut and can’t get back in the league don’t have the talent, but that’s not Jared. He’s got the talent. Last year when he was at 300 pounds, he still managed to get 25 double-doubles.”