2:55pm: A team source who spoke with Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post disputes the idea that the Heat is pressuring Bosh to sit out.
2:00pm: The Heat are pressing Chris Bosh to sit out the remainder of the season with a recurrence of the blood-clot issue that prematurely ended last season for him, but the All-Star big man continues to search for a way to return to the court, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. Doctors would also like to see Bosh sit, sharing in the team’s concern about the potential risks involved for him, Wojnarowski indicates. Bosh, Heat owner Micky Arison, team president Pat Riley and other Heat officials will meet sometime today or tomorrow, the Vertical scribe adds, and Ethan Skolnick of The Miami Herald hears that “some finality” about Bosh’s status will come tonight (Twitter link). In any case, Bosh has an encouraging prognosis for his long-term health, as The Herald’s Barry Jackson reported last week.
Bosh, who turns 32 next month, suffered blood clotting in his left calf around the All-Star break, a situation eerily similar to the potentially life-threatening blood clots in both his lungs that emerged almost precisely a year earlier. The issue doesn’t appear to be as serious this time around, but it’s still troubling, and the Heat apparently don’t have any desire to take chances. Bosh, if he agreed to stop playing for the remainder of this season, would be re-evaluated in three to six months, sources told Wojnarowski. A three-month timetable would ostensibly leave the door open by at least a crack for a return in time to play in the Eastern Conference Finals, if the Heat make it that far, but Wojnarowski doesn’t raise that possibility in his report.
The January 15th deadline to apply for a disabled player exception is long in the past, and though Beno Udrih is out for three months and Tyler Johnson at least two, Miami is still one long-term injury shy of the number needed to qualify for a 16th roster spot via hardship. Of course, the Heat have two open roster spots as it is, and they can’t sign anyone to more than a 10-day contract until March 6th, lest they creep back over the luxury tax line and risk repeat-offender tax penalties. Miami is eyeing Jordan Crawford, Jason Thompson, Tony Wroten and Dorell Wright as they consider ways to fill out the roster after March 6th, as Jackson reported.
The optimism surrounding Bosh’s long-term prognosis is a saving grace for the Heat, since he still has three seasons remaining after this one on the five-year max contract he signed in 2014. It also provides a plausible explanation for why the Heat would prefer to err on the side of caution for this season, one in which the team has risen to third place in the Eastern Conference but still lacks a strong chance at winning the title.