Report: Heat likely to waive Chris Bosh after March 1

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Pat Riley essentially said the Heat are done with Chris Bosh, and Bosh has acknowledged he’s likely finished in Miami.

But with Bosh owed $75,868,170 over the final three years of his contract, how will the exit actually work?

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

The most likely course of action as of now in this murky, sad situation, per sources all around it: The Heat wait until after March 1 to waive Bosh so that he is not eligible to appear in the postseason for any team that signs him.

There are conditions that must be met first:

  • Bosh can’t play through Feb. 9 (and longer if the Heat keep him longer).
  • A  doctor jointly selected by the league and union must rule 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.”

If either falls through, the Heat would no longer be able to remove Bosh’s salary from their cap. Miami obviously holds the cards on whether Bosh plays. But given his continued proclamations that he can still play, there are still real questions how that jointly selected doctor would rule.

But let’s just say the doctor rules in the Heat’s favor. They should wait a few extra days to waive him. If Bosh proves the doctor wrong and plays 25 games (regular season and playoffs both count) for another team, his salary would be re-applied to Miami’s books. Though no team has more than 24 games in March and April, Bosh doesn’t have to play for only one team. He could theoretically sign 10-day contracts with different teams, working the schedule to maximize his number of games played. (Though if the jointly selected doctor deems it unsafe for him to play, will other teams really sign and play him?)

There’s always the possibility Bosh plays 25 games in 2017-18 and beyond, but the key for the Heat is removing his salary from the cap next summer. They could use that cap space before Bosh’s salary is potentially re-applied. The unfortunate consequence of this rule is holding Bosh hostage most of this season.