Report: Heat offer Chris Bosh full max contract to keep him from Rockets

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LeBron James signing with the Cavaliers opened the door for Chris Bosh’s departure.

The Rockets are interested in the power forward, and their roster fits well around him. They’d immediately become one of the NBA’s strongest championship contenders.

But they can’t offer a max contract, at least not while keeping Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons. And if they want to keep any other players, including point guard Patrick Beverley, they’d have to further cut Bosh’s salary.

That gives Pat Riley ammunition to persuade Bosh to re-sign with the LeBron-less Heat.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Bosh could make $118,705,300 over five years in Miami.

If the Rockets plan keep Howard, Harden and Parsons, they could pay Bosh just $83,088,781 over four years. Does he want to keep Beverley? Lower that offer to $76,284,211.

That’s a lot of money to give up – and getting that much is contingent on Houston dealing everyone else. Jeremy Lin is already gone, and the Omer Asik trade seems to be coming together. But Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas and Isaiah Canaan also have guaranteed contracts. Moving those three might not be too hard, but it must be done or Bosh’s offer falls even further below Miami’s.

Of course, the Heat don’t offer just money. If Dwyane Wade rejects the Bulls and returns, they should make the playoffs. Without LeBron, they’ll also have cap room to upgrade the supporting cast beyond adding just Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger.

If Bosh is going to pick the Rockets – unless they’re willing to let Parsons join Dallas just to stay alive in the Bosh race – he must do so by Sunday. Because of all the moving pieces, maybe Houston set a sooner deadline, which would explain why Bosh is deciding today. Otherwise, I don’t see why he couldn’t take until Sunday.