Heat forward Chris Bosh, who failed his most recent physical and was not cleared by team doctors to participate in training camp, vowed to continue his attempt to make it back to the court, Brian Windhorst of ESPN relays. Speaking in a videotaped segment published online, Bosh called the news “a down moment right now,” while pledging that everything would work out.
“I had the intention of releasing Episode 2 of ‘Uninterrupted: Bosh Rebuilt’ today under the assumption I would be cleared to go for camp,” Bosh said in the video. “Unfortunately that is not the case. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to share my creative side with you guys and hoping that you want to come along on the journey with me. Just because the journey has ups and downs doesn’t mean I will stop sharing with you guys. So I will just continue to share despite what’s going on.”
“Little setbacks happen. But that doesn’t change my intentions and what I want to accomplish,” Bosh continued. “So I hope you continue to watch. I hope you continue to just take in my journey and just come along with me with the ups and downs. So it’s a down moment right now, but everything’s going to be all right.”
This statement from Bosh seems to indicate that he currently doesn’t intend to retire, which leaves the Heat in a difficult spot. Miami currently has 15 players under contract with fully guaranteed deals, including Bosh. If Bosh is unwilling to retire, the team will either be forced to retain Bosh, thus losing a valuable regular season roster spot and hurting its depth, or to waive the player and eat the cap hit. The 32-year-old is set to earn $23,741,060 this season, $25,289,390 in 2017/18 and $26,837,720 the following year, which is the final one in his current deal.
The Heat’s most recent exams discovered “evidence of some continued clotting,” which is thought to be related to one of the previous blood clot episodes that sidelined Bosh for parts of the last two seasons. The clotting complication isn’t viewed as life-threatening, but it will require medication, and the club doesn’t consider it realistic for Bosh to get back on the court and play in his current condition, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reported on Friday.
The primary deadline to keep an eye on regarding Bosh and Miami’s salary cap is February 9th, 2017. If Bosh has been unable to play for Miami by that date, and a doctor jointly approved by the NBA and the Players’ Association rules him medically unable to return, the Heat could remove his current and future cap hits from their books, creating significant cap space. However, if the team made that move and Bosh was eventually cleared to return, he wouldn’t be able to rejoin the Heat. Though, the two sides’ relationship could turn openly contentious by that point and neither party may have interest in a reunion anyway.