The Miami Heat have just one part of the “Big Three”, forward Chris Bosh, remaining in South Beach. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade left the traditional way via free agency, but in Bosh’s case, his likely departure is much more complicated.
Bosh has seen each of his last two seasons end prematurely due to blood clots, which have now become career-threatening. In September, team President Pat Riley said Bosh will never play again, but due to salary cap concerns, the team must handle his release very delicately.
The Miami Herald reports the Heat must wait until Feb. 9 to release Bosh in order to clear him from the team’s salary cap. A doctor must also agree that he isn’t fit to play for him to be released and not counted towards the salary cap any longer.
However, ESPN reporter Zach Lowe reports the Heat could wait a little longer, March 1, to avoid facing him in the postseason. Any team can sign him after that date, but he wouldn’t be eligible to be on a playoff roster.
Of course, that’s assuming Bosh is ready to return by March, which seems very unlikely at this point. The forward has made it clear that he wants to play again, but it might not necessarily happen this season.
He is making virtually no attempt to get back on the court right now, as he waits patiently to see what happens with the Heat. He also isn’t forcing the issue with the team to release him.
Another thing to consider is if Bosh plays 25 regular season or playoff games with another team, his salary goes back to Miami’s cap. That’s just another reason the Heat might have to hold onto him until March 1, but again, that’s under the assumption he returns this spring.
It’s impossible to know at this point when or even if he returns to the court.