Chris Bosh

Heat Rumors: Butler, Trade Talks, 15-Man Roster

Reports earlier this week on the Jimmy Butler situation suggested that the Timberwolves nearly accepted a Heat offer that included Josh Richardson and a first-round pick, but ultimately asked Miami for more. A subsequent report indicated that Wolves owner Glen Taylor wasn’t responsible for turning down that offer.

During an appearance on Mason and Ireland, ESPN’s Jorge Sedano confirmed both stories, reporting that the Heat and Timberwolves got close to a trade that would have sent Butler to Miami for Richardson, a first-round pick, and Dion Waiters. The two teams even exchanged medical information for the players involved. However, according to Sedano, Tom Thibodeau asked the Heat for more draft picks, at which point Pat Riley called him a “motherf—er” and hung up on him (Twitter links).

For what it’s worth, a source familiar with the negotiations disputes that story, telling Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel that Riley insists he didn’t offer such a reaction. That source apparently didn’t deny the other details of those trade discussions though.

Here’s more on the Heat, including another note on their dealings with the Timberwolves:

  • Both Winderman and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald report that the Heat aren’t pushing to re-engage the Timberwolves in trade discussions involving Butler. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that a deal won’t happen, Miami sounds ready to move on and prepare for the season. Butler didn’t travel with the Wolves to Milwaukee, with Thibodeau telling reporters that the All-NBA swingman is in Minnesota working on his conditioning, adding that the situation remains “fluid” (Twitter link via Dane Moore of 1500ESPN).
  • The Heat typically carry a full 15-man roster into the regular season, but the team appears likely to open the 2018/19 campaign with just 14 players, as Winderman writes in another piece for The Sun Sentinel. According to Winderman, the Heat haven’t entered the season with fewer than 15 players on standard contracts since 2003/04. Luxury tax concerns likely play a major part in that decision this year — Miami is currently over the tax line by about $6.3MM.
  • In a Q&A with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Chris Bosh explained that he still hopes to return to the NBA because he views his career as an “unfinished painting.” Bosh pointed specifically to his final season with the Heat, noting that he thought the team had the potential to win the East, but he didn’t get a chance to see it through.

Chris Bosh Not Closing Door On Playing Again

Chris Bosh hasn’t closed the door on playing in the NBA again and will give himself until the All-Star break to make a final determination on his future, as he tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Bosh hasn’t played since the 2015/16 season because of blood clots and the former No. 4 overall pick admits the situation is still “complicated.”

“It’s up to the team doctors from that team. And then we go from there,” Bosh said of the process for a franchise to sign him.

The NBA and its players’ union previously ruled that Bosh’s clotting issues were career-ending. Bondy notes that the risk with blood clotting is that contact could result in internal bleeding.

Bosh remains focused on coming back and he’s open to playing for any team that’s willing to take the risk with him. Bondy asked Bosh if he could envision himself playing for the Knicks to which Bosh replied, “If they make me a deal, yeah.”

New coach David Fizdale was Bosh’s assistant coach in Miami. Bosh credits Fitzdale with helping him reinvent his game.

“He helped me so much as far as dissecting offenses,” Bosh said. “Film work. And just mentally preparing for every night challenge. We felt a bond just trying to figure out how I can be effective in a free-flowing offense we had. And sometimes it was just having a beer and talking and leaving all the offcourt stuff to the side. But he’s just a tremendous person, tremendous coach. And he knows his basketball.”

Heat Notes: Dragic, Olynyk, Stokes, Bosh

The Heat may be willing to trade Goran Dragic, but only if they can get a first-round pick and some financial flexibility for next summer, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Dragic’s name was floated last week as a possible target for the Suns, who are without a veteran point guard after dealing Brandon Knight to the Rockets.

Dragic is the only established point guard on the Heat roster, but Winderman notes that Miami has a logjam in the backcourt, needing to find time for Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder and possibly Dwyane Wade. The Heat, who are over the projected luxury tax for this season with nearly $127MM in guaranteed salary, could also benefit financially from unloading Dragic, who will make more than $18.1MM this year and has a $19.2MM player option for 2019/20.

Winderman passes along more Heat info in the same story:
  • Kelly Olynyk has committed to play a pair of World Cup qualifying games this month for the Canadian national team. Olynyk is among several NBA players on the roster for Canada, which hopes to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2010. Olynyk’s games are set for Wednesday and September 17, so they won’t interfere with Miami’s training camp.
  • Jarnell Stokes is grateful for the opportunity to join the Heat in camp, even though he faces long odds to win a roster spot. The power forward played five games with Miami during the 2015/16 season and has a high opinion of the franchise. “They are very fair when it comes to trusting what they see,” Stokes said in a recent interview with J.D. Shaw of Def Pen Hoops. “A lot of guys go by numbers and politics, but you can pretty much trust that if you put in the work — guys like Tyler Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson — these guys really did not have an opportunity at first. Miami is typically the spot that is able to trust in what they see.”
  • Former Heat big man Chris Bosh continues to express his desire to return to the NBA. The Georgia Tech alum, who hasn’t played since doctors discovered a recurrence of blood clots in 2016, said in an interview with ramblinwreck.com that he hopes to work toward a comeback this season. Because Bosh left the Heat over a medical issue and the final two years of his contract were removed from Miami’s cap, he is not permitted to rejoin the team.

Lakers Notes: Ball, Stephenson, Bosh, Thompson

Lakers guard Lonzo Ball wasn’t concerned with his name being in trade rumors this past summer, relays Christian Rivas of USA TODAY’s Lonzo Wire. Ball was rumored as potential trade candidate in a deal involving Kawhi Leonard before the Spurs moved him to Toronto.

“There’s trade rumors every year,” Ball said. “Athletes in general, you’re never really 100 percent safe. Wherever you’re at. Anything can happen, especially in the offseason, so all I can do is just make sure I’m ready to play at the best of my abilities.”

The Lakers ultimately opted to keep Ball on their roster, and it’s unclear if the team ever seriously pursued a trade involving him. Los Angeles reached a buyout agreement with Luol Deng this past week, which gives the team the cap flexibility to pursue Leonard again once he becomes a free agent in July.

Ball, 20, is set to enter his second season with the Lakers. He’ll compete with veteran guard Rajon Rondo for the team’s starting point guard position when camp opens in three weeks.

There’s more from the Lakers:

  • Lance Stephenson is focused on helping the Lakers earn a winning season, studying game film of LeBron James and other teammates throughout the summer, Scott Agness of The Athletic notes. “He worked harder than most guys that I’ve ever seen over a summer period,” NBA trainer Rob Blackwell said.
  • Free agent Chris Bosh continues to eye an NBA comeback, but a number of hurdles would stand between him and the Lakers on a potential deal, writes Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus. Bosh must show a significant improvement in his condition or any potential treatment options in order to be cleared by the league.
  • While he may be a long shot to leave the Warriors in 2019, Klay Thompson shouldn’t be overlooked as a potential free agent target for the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. As Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen & Roll details, Shelburne observed during an appearance on ESPN Radio that Thompson’s skill set would be an ideal fit for the Lakers, but acknowledged that the All-Star guard “feels like a Warrior for life.”

Chris Bosh Hasn’t Given Up On Comeback

Chris Bosh still wants to return to the NBA, but he realizes the clock is rapidly ticking on that dream, writes Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports.

Bosh, 34, hasn’t played since doctors discovered a return of blood clots midway through the 2015/16 season. The 11-time All-Star sees the upcoming season as his last shot to get back into the league.

“Yeah, it’s still on my mind,” Bosh said. “Obviously, if it doesn’t happen by February, I’m not stupid, but yeah, I’m still looking forward to that. I’m still trying to overcome that hump and trying to get something going. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I know I can still play some ball and be a 3-and-D guy for somebody out there.”

Bosh tried to return to the Heat in 2016, but failed a physical prior to training camp. Doctors were concerned about his ability to perform while taking medication to ward off the blood clots and the potential dangers if he were to suffer a cut during a game while on blood thinners. Bosh says he has consulted with enough doctors to make him confident that he can safely return to playing.

Based on Bosh’s condition after the failed physical, Miami was able to successfully petition the NBA to get the $52.1MM remaining on his contract removed from its salary cap.

In the time he has been away, Bosh believes the game has changed to make his skills more valuable than ever. As a big man who can space the floor, he hopes to fill the same role with a contender that he did when the Heat reached the NBA Finals in four straight years.

Lakers Notes: James, Bosh, Noel

LeBron James‘ 2018 free agency was always a two-horse race between the Lakers and Cavaliers, Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on SportsCenter, noting that the meeting with the Sixers earlier today was a mere courtesy.

The decision to move to Los Angeles had been in the back of James’ mind for a while now, leaving the Lakers in the driver’s seat for the past three weeks with little left to do but not blow it.

In the television interview, Windhorst spoke of the exodus of the King’s staffers, who relocated from Miami to the west coast during James’ second stint with the Cavaliers, and the fact that his wife has been looking at Los Angeles schools for the past year.

With James already in hand, Magic Johnson simply had to close the deal and, as ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne adds, was actually at James’ residence when free agency officially began.

There’s more out of Los Angeles tonight:

  • One name to keep an eye on as a potential Lakers addition is free agent big man Chris Bosh, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. Bosh played alongside James for four years in Miami but has been out of the game since February, 2016 after being diagnosed with life-threatening blood clots. A comeback would require some additional paperwork but a successful return would not impact the Heat’s payroll.
  • There’s a chance that Brook Lopez ends up back in Los Angeles now that much of the team’s available cap space has been tied up in James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets. Lopez was under contract for $22MM with the Lakers in 2017/18 and averaged 13.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
  • The Lakers are one of three teams that Nerlens Noel has narrowed his free agency decision down to, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. Noel is represented by Rich Paul, the same agent that represents James and Caldwell-Pope. The Wizards and Thunder are the other two teams on Noel’s short list.

Pat Riley Fumed, Then Realized LeBron ‘Did Right Thing’

Heat president Pat Riley was furious when LeBron James bolted Miami and returned to the Cavaliers in 2014 but now feels James ‘did the right thing.’ That’s one of the revelations by Riley to author Ian Thomsen in his new book “The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown between LeBron, Kobe, Doc and Dirk that Saved the NBA” which was excerpted in a Jackie MacMullen story for ESPN.

Riley came to that conclusion slowly, as he fumed for months over James’ decision to go back to Cleveland. He ultimately understood that James would never be truly accepted in his home state again unless he won a championship there.

“My beautiful plan all of a sudden came crashing down,” Riley told Thomsen. “That team in ten years could have won five or six championships. But I get it. I get the whole chronicle of [LeBron’s] life. While there may have been some carnage always left behind when he made these kinds of moves, in Cleveland and also in Miami, he did the right thing.”

Other notable revelations in the interview included:

  • James hinted early in his first Heat season during a meeting among Riley and the Big Three of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and James that he wanted Riley to return to coaching and replace Erik Spoelstra“I remember LeBron looking at me, and he said, ‘Don’t you ever get the itch?’ I said, ‘The itch for what?’ He said, ‘The itch to coach again?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t have the itch.’ He didn’t ask any more questions, and I didn’t offer any more answers. But I know what it meant, and I always go back and wonder about what he was thinking at that time. “
  • The public outcry after James’ announcement that he would be “taking my talents to South Beach” shook up James when he headed to Miami.  “That night at three in the morning we met him at the airport. … They got off the plane, and I remember walking right up to LeBron. He was worn-out. He was just worn-out. He almost had tears in his eyes.”
  • Riley had no contact with James until Game 7 the 2016 NBA Finals, when Riley texted him. “As soon as he hit the floor, I sent a text to him. I said, ‘Win this and be free.’ He never got back to me with a response.” Riley and James continue to be at odds, according to MacMullen.

And-Ones: Francis, Doncic, Bosh, G League, Officials

In a powerful piece for the The Players’ Tribune, former NBA player Steve Francis opens up about his life before stardom, growing up in the streets of Washington D.C., where his mother died when Francis was only 18 years old and his father was locked up in federal prison for a robbery conviction.

“Four years before I was on that plane with Hakeem telling me we’re going shopping for cashmere suits together — four years before I was about to go play against Gary Payton — I was on the corner of Maple Ave in Takoma Park, Maryland, selling drugs outside the Chinese joint.”

“My mother had passed away. My father was in a federal penitentiary. We had 18 people living in one apartment. I had dropped out of high school. No scholarships. No GED. No nothing.”

From his respect for legend Hakeem Olajuwon to his interactions with Sam Cassell and Payton, Francis opens up about life beyond basketball as well as the lessons he took away from his time in the NBA and the unlikely route he took to get there.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The Slovenian Basketball Federation, via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, is reporting that top 2018 NBA Draft prospect Luka Doncic is expected to miss two weeks of action with a thigh injury.
  • In another moving piece, Jackie MacMullan of ESPN writes that former All-Star and NBA champion Chris Bosh is still hoping for a return to the NBA and, perhaps more importantly, searching for the feeling he once had when he was playing the game he loved. “I would love,” Bosh says, “to experience that feeling one more time.”
  • The NBA still has some ground to cover in its efforts to make the G League a true “minor league” alternative to college basketball, opines Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
  • Despite ongoing efforts to mend the ever-widening gap between players and officials, at least one NBA player feels the tensions are still an issue, reports Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. “Honestly the game is not about the players and the refs,” said Wizards forward Markieff Morris.“We’re playing for the fans, so we’re trying to clean up a whole lot. It’s at an all-time high right now.”
  • LeBron James‘ free agency destination list is reportedly down to four teams. Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today take a look at the best situations for James from a pure basketball perspective, concentrating on the four aforementioned teams – the Cavaliers, Lakers, Rockets, and Sixers – as well as two others – the Clippers and Spurs.

Chris Bosh Still Hoping For NBA Comeback

1:03pm: ESPN has now posted a lengthier video of today’s First Take discussion with Bosh, which includes the former Heat and Raptors star addressing concerns about his health.

“Medicine is like law, I’ve come to find out,” Bosh said. “It’s a very gray area. Some people say yes, some people say no. Usually it’s about what the majority agrees to, and sometimes it’ll take somebody to have some revolutionary plan or something like that. I’m not going to be in a position where I’m risking my life, so if I ever get back on the court like that and people are worried, it’s not going to be a life-risking situation.”

Asked later in the discussion whether he hopes to make a comeback in 2018/19, Bosh said he hasn’t closed the door on returning this season. He also identified the Warriors, Rockets, and Raptors as teams that would interest him, and didn’t rule out the Cavaliers either.

11:57am: It has now been more than two years since Chris Bosh last played an NBA game, but the 11-time All-Star still hasn’t given up on the idea of resuming his playing career. Appearing on First Take (video link), Bosh told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith today that he’s still making an effort to return to the NBA.

“I’ve been in the gym. I can still play basketball,” Bosh said.No, I’m not done yet.”

Joking that he can’t call it a career when he sees how many current players are getting by shooting three-pointers and not playing defense, Bosh repeated a sentiment that he has expressed several times since his medical retirement. As recently as November, the former Heat star said he was keeping his options open as a player.

Although Bosh is still physically able to play basketball, concerns about his history of blood clots have made him medically ineligible to return to an NBA team. Doctors and teams have been unwilling to risk those blood clotting issues resurfacing.

Bosh last appeared in the NBA in 2015/16 for the Heat, averaging 19.1 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 53 games and earning an All-Star nod. He played his last game on February 9, 2016.

Heat Notes: Bosh, Spoelstra, Winslow

The Heat experienced some déjà vu during their game against the Nets in Mexico City on Saturday as former champion Chris Bosh was in attendance for the team’s 101-89 victory. It was a welcome sight for many of Bosh’s former teammates and coaches, including Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel writes.

“We’ve been in touch. He looks good,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “His family, his kids are doing well. I love CB. He’s Heat family for life but man it’s strange. You see him and it’s like you go back to 2012 just like that. You realize how fast times goes by in this league.”

Bosh has not played in nearly two seasons after his issue with blood clots was ruled career-ending following a medical review by the NBA and the players’ union earlier this year. Bosh reached a unique agreement with the Heat in July where his salary would longer count against the team’s salary cap after he was waived.

We noted last month that Bosh was “keeping his options open” regarding his future as an active player. However, given his medical complications, it remains a longshot that an NBA team will give him a chance to resume his career.

Check out other Heat news below:

  • Also from the Sun Sentinel’s Shandel Richardson, Heat forward Justise Winslow has taken a demotion to the bench in stride and is finding success in that role. “I didn’t really take it as a bad thing or a good thing,” Winslow said. “For me, I just see it as an opportunity to be even more of a playmaker with that second group especially with the great spot up shooters we have in Wayne [Ellington] and Tyler [Johnson].”
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes that Erik Spoelstra thrives under stability with the Heat, something David Fizdale and other recently dismissed coaches have not been afforded. Spoelstra has been the head coach in Miami through the era of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Bosh, and in recent years during a rebuilding stage. He feels that teams will need patience to compete and that stability with coaches is critical.