Report: Heat increasingly believe they’re done with Chris Bosh, who’s not talking to Pat Riley

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
7 Comments

LeBron James left the Heat with Pat Riley apparently questioning the authenticity of LeBron’s communication. Dwyane Wade left the Heat without communicating with Riley at all.

And now Chris Bosh – who Miami didn’t clear to play after medical testing – might leave the Heat under a communication gap with Riley.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Heat reportedly thought Bosh’s career might be over in May. This latest blood-clot complication won’t assuage their fears.

As I wrote then:

Bosh has three years and $75,868,170 remaining on his contract. The Heat could waive him and have his remaining salary excluding from their team salary on Feb. 9, 2017 – one year from his last game – if he doesn’t play between now and then and a doctor determines he has suffered a career-ending injury or illness.

That doctor, selected jointly by the NBA and players union would have to determine Bosh “has an injury or illness that (i) prevents him from playing skilled professional basketball at an NBA level for the duration of his career, or (ii) substantially impairs his ability to play skilled professional basketball at an NBA level and is of such severity that continuing to play professional basketball at an NBA level would subject the player to medically unacceptable risk of suffering a life-threatening or permanently disabling injury or illness.” II would be the likely route here.

Bosh would still be paid if waived, but the doctor’s determination is the only way for Miami to get his salary off its books. That could open considerable cap space in 2017

In this scenario, Bosh could try joining another team. If he plays 25 games, his salary would return to Miami’s books – though that seems unlikely if an independent doctor rules Bosh’s career over.

That salary wouldn’t be applied until the final regular-season game, so the Heat would gain the cap space for the summer of 2017. They just might face a luxury-tax hit if they spend all the available money and Bosh comes back elsewhere.

Before it gets to that point, though, there’s plenty to sort out. It’d be helpful if Bosh and Riley could sit down and discuss the issue, but it appears there’s an impediment to that.