Chris Bosh

Heat Notes: Haslem, Bosh, Hammons, Lineup

Longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem is back in Miami for his 15th season with the team this year, but he admits that at one point this offseason he was unsure whether he’d re-sign with the Heat. As Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald details, Haslem received interest from Cleveland in July and acknowledges that he considered signing with the Cavaliers.

“I got an interesting call from Cleveland,” Haslem said. “My son is out there [as a student and football player] at the University of Toledo in Ohio. It was something to consider.”

Although Haslem never paid a visit to the Cavs, his agent Leon Rose spoke to team management, writes Jackson. Ultimately though, Haslem decided that it wouldn’t make sense for him to leave the Heat at this point in his career, suggesting that he can’t imagine playing for another team — even one that now features his former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade.

“It would have been funny [with Wade there], but I don’t regret the decision I made,” Haslem said. “I’m where I’m supposed to be, I’m where I need to be. I’m where I’m most effective, even though it’s not on the basketball court, I would like to think I impact this organization, this team just by bringing my presence and everything else.”

Here’s more on the Heat from Jackson:

  • Associates of Chris Bosh, who appeared at Lakers practice this week as a guest of his former agent Rob Pelinka, say the veteran big man hasn’t ruled out the idea of an NBA comeback, despite his blood clot issues. If Bosh were to make an NBA return, his salary wouldn’t go back on the Heat’s cap, Jackson notes.
  • Although A.J. Hammons has a guaranteed salary, his spot on the 15-man regular season roster isn’t necessarily a lock, in Jackson’s view. Hammons, who will be out for a week with the flu, has the advantage over camp invitee Matt Williams due to his guaranteed contract, but he was essentially a throw-in in the Josh McRoberts trade with Dallas, so if Williams proves more deserving of that roster spot, the Heat will face a difficult decision.
  • Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is interested in seeing Hassan Whiteside play alongside free agent addition Kelly Olynyk during the preseason, believing that their skill sets complement one another, says Jackson.
  • In the battle for the Heat’s starting small forward job, Josh Richardson isn’t concerned about whether or not he starts, but Rodney McGruder said that being in the starting lineup would be important to him, according to Jackson. “Who wouldn’t want to start in the NBA?” McGruder said. “It’s fun starting.”

Southeast Notes: Wall, Porter, Bosh, Muscala, Riley, Ellington

Wizards star point guard John Wall is making no apologies for his aggressive recruitment of Paul George during free agency, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Many observers took Wall’s comments as a slight against the team’s current small forward Otto Porter, but Wall explained his comments in a different way:

“Otto’s going to be a great player for us, a great role player for a lot of teams. There’s a difference between a role player and a superstar. It’s a big difference. There’s a lot teams that will make a lot of trades for a superstar. Look at Kevin Love getting traded for Andrew Wiggins, you never know who that player going to turn out to be.”

Buckner also points out that Wall is not in a rush regarding his own extension. Last season Wall qualified for the designated player exception after making the All-NBA third team. Wall maintained that he’s devoted to the city of Washington and plans to carefully consider whether he wishes to remain a Wizard in the long term. An extension could keep Wall in the District for the next six years.

Here’s what else you should know from the Southeast division:

  • Former Heat star Chris Bosh penned an open letter to the city of Miami, thanking its residents for the past seven years of support. The 33-year-old power forward credited Miamians for showing him “how to stay strong and push through in the toughest moments,” which has “made [him] a better man, the person [he is] today.” In the letter, Bosh did not broach the topics of his current health or his future plans.
  • Hawks big man Mike Muscala viewed his return to Atlanta as a “no-brainer,” writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Last week, Muscala agreed to a two-year, $10MM contract to remain with the Hawks.
  • Heat president Pat Riley opined on various Heat players, with his comments about Wayne Ellington particularly effusive: “It would have killed me to see him go. He committed himself unlike anybody else. And just like James Johnson and Dion [Waiters], changed everything about how he played…And he’s so in, so committed, and he can see what did for himself with our help, and how it improved his game. He’s one of the best catch-and-shoot players in the league.” Riley goes on to mention that the team has Early Bird Rights on Ellington and credits the player’s loss of 20 pounds with yielding many benefits on the court. Ellington’s $6.3MM contract was guaranteed on Friday.

Heat Officially Waive Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh‘s salary will officially no longer count against the Heat’s salary cap going forward, with the team announcing today in a press release that Bosh has been waived. The move formally brings an end to Bosh’s seven-year stint with the franchise.Chris Bosh vertical

“Chris changed his life and basketball career when he came to Miami,” team president Pat Riley said in a statement. “And he changed our lives for the better, in a way we never would have imagined, when he joined the Miami Heat. We will forever be indebted to CB for how he changed this team and led us to four trips to the NBA Finals and two NBA Championships. He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise.

“The number ‘1’ will never be worn by another player and we can’t wait to someday hang his jersey in the rafters,” Riley continued. “Today, we are both moving on but we wish Chris, Adrienne and their family nothing but the best. They will forever be part of the Miami Heat family.”

As we detailed last month when an independent doctor ruled Bosh’s blood-clot issues to be career-ending, he will no longer count against the Heat’s salary cap due to his medical retirement designation. That clears more than $52MM in total salary from the team’s books for the next two years, including $25.3MM+ in 2017/18. Miami will still have to pay Bosh his remaining salary, though the team figures to recoup a significant chunk of that money through insurance.

It’s possible Bosh will attempt a comeback at some point, though NBA executives are skeptical about the odds of that. If his NBA career is officially over, the 33-year-old will finish with averages of 19.2 PPG and 8.5 RPG over 893 total games with the Raptors and Heat (14 total seasons, including 2016/17). Bosh was named to 11 All-Star teams and won two championships over the course of his career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southeast Notes: Porter, Bogdanovic, Isaac, Bosh

The Kings’ decision to use a major part of their cap space on George Hill and Zach Randolph leaves the Nets as the most significant threat for Wizards RFA Otto Porter, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. Porter met with the Kings on Sunday and reportedly received a max offer, but didn’t sign it, wanting to talk to other teams first. Sacramento’s moves today means it no longer has room for a max deal unless it unloads some other salary. The Wizards can match any offer sheet that Porter brings to them, and have stated that they plan to do so.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards plan to explore sign-and-trade options for Bojan Bogdanovic, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Bogdanovic appears to be on the way out after this week’s deals with Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott, but Washington won’t revoke his $4.7MM qualifying offer, hoping to deal him and create a traded player exception. Bogdanovic is reportedly seeking about $16MM per year, which seems unrealistic. Michael notes that the Wizards have made use of TPEs in the recent years, picking up Jared Dudley, Kris Humphries and Tim Frazier.
  • The Magic will hold first-round pick Jonathan Isaac out of the final two games of the Orlando Pro Summer League after he suffered a hip strain Monday, relays John Denton of NBA.com. Tests didn’t reveal any structural damage and the injury isn’t considered serious, but the Magic are keeping him sidelined as a precaution.
  • In a move to free up cap space, the Magic have reached an agreement with 2005 first-rounder Fran Vazquez that he won’t play in the NBA this season, tweets Keith Smith of Real GM. Orlando still owns the rights for the 34-year-old, and the move takes away his cap hold for the upcoming season.
  • The Heat are expected to end their seven-year relationship with Chris Bosh this week, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami will erase Bosh’s $52.1MM from its cap under a medical retirement in the wake of recurring blood clots. Bosh must be given 48 hours to clear waivers before the move becomes official, and it will push the Heat’s cap space from $9MM to more than $34MM this year.

NBA Formally Rules Bosh’s Illness Career-Ending

A medical review from the NBA and the players’ union has concluded that Chris Bosh‘s blood clotting condition is in fact career-ending, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reports. The decision goes along with what the Miami Heat had previously established.

Bosh hasn’t played since part-way through the 2015/16 campaign but has previously mentioned an interest in coming back to the NBA if he’s ever deemed medically eligible. By waiting to sort through the complex legalities of the unique situation as opposed to attempting to shed his salary as early possible, the Heat have now guaranteed that when they waive Bosh, they won’t run the risk of his salary ever returning to the books in the event that he’s cleared to play in the future.

Had they decided not to wait, they could have looked to exclude Bosh’s contract as early February 9, 2017.

All that’s left now, Winderman says, is for the Heat to formally waive the big man, something that they’ll do as soon as they need to clear up the cap space. If another team claims him through the traditional waivers, they will not be eligible for the same cap relief.

Although it won’t count towards Miami’s team payroll at any point, Bosh is guaranteed the remaining portion of his contract, totaling over $50MM through 2018/19, the majority of it covered by insurance.

Ultimately, now that the complications surrounding the cap impacts of Bosh’s health have come to a formal conclusion, the Heat can look forward to a summer with $37MM of cap space, Winderman writes.

If Bosh ever does decide to pursue a comeback, an unlikely outcome per TNT’s David Aldridge, he’ll need to present medical evidence that meets the league approval.

NBA Execs Skeptical About Chris Bosh Comeback

The Heat and Chris Bosh have reached a tentative agreement to part ways, and while that deal is not yet official, the players’ union has OK’d it, and it appears likely to be finalized in the coming weeks. When that happens, Bosh will reach free agency, and technically would be able to sign with another team. However, as TNT’s David Aldridge details in his latest NBA.com column, there’s skepticism around the NBA that Bosh’s health will allow him to return to the court for a new club.

Bosh’s history of blood clots, which is the reason the Heat are removing him from their books in the first place, will continue to be a concern as other teams explore the idea of signing him. As Aldridge writes, were it not for the health issues, teams around the NBA would be clamoring to sign Bosh. But, as one Western Conference executive observes to Aldridge, if Bosh was unable to play for the Heat, he’s unlikely to receive clearance to suit up for another team anytime soon.

“Miami had about $50 million reasons for him to play and could not get a doctor to clear him,” that Western exec said. “Very unlikely the answer will be different at a team with $0 million reasons for him to play.”

While Bosh remains hopeful that he can find a treatment plan that will allow him to resume his NBA career, league execs aren’t sure the upside of signing Bosh would outweigh the risk. Although teams will have interest, it will be difficult to find a doctor willing to sign off on his return, per the execs who spoke to Aldridge.

“I don’t see how medical people will want to sign off and clear him,” another Western exec said of Bosh. “Unless something has changed with his health recently … I don’t know of a team that would want to take that type of a risk. If something were to tragically happen, it’s hard to recover from that. Very unfortunate.”

Players’ Association OKs Bosh Agreement

The players’ association has given its approval to a tentative agreement that would resolve Chris Bosh‘s standoff with the Heat, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.

The pact is still being finalized, Windhorst adds, as Bosh and his family, agents and lawyers are looking over the details.

Now 33, Bosh hasn’t played since the 2016 All-Star break when doctors discovered a recurrence of blood clot issues. He has remained on Miami’s roster, despite rumors that the Heat were looking to force him into a medical retirement and clear his salary from their cap.

If the agreement is finalized, it will free up about $52.1MM for the Heat over the next two seasons. Bosh will still get paid, with much of the money coming from insurance.

Windhorst explains that the process took so long to play out because it was covered by two collective bargaining agreements, with the one that goes into effect July 1st carrying significant changes involving player health that were enacted because of Bosh’s situation.

Bosh is seeking a treatment plan that will allow him to resume his NBA career with another organization. Current league rules would return his salary to the Heat’s cap if he were to play 25 games for another team. Miami officials entered discussions with Bosh in hopes of avoiding that potential penalty.

Heat, Chris Bosh Reach Agreement To Part Ways

The Heat and Chris Bosh have reached a unique agreement that will relinquish his salary from the team’s cap space before free agency but will also allow him to play again in the league, sources tell Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Jackson cautions that the agreement, which came together earlier this month, is not official just yet. He adds that an announcement is expected before the start of free agency.

Bosh has been telling people about the agreement and he’s pleased with the terms, Jackson hears. The scribe adds that the terms have reached the highest level of the league’s office. Bosh was cooperative throughout the process and his departure from Miami will be amicable. He previously expressed discontent with the organization, but the two sides are now on the same page.

The deal would permanently remove Bosh’s cap figure, which was set to be an approximate $52.1MM over the next two years, from Miami’s books. The figure would remain off of the team’s books even if Bosh resumes playing again for another franchise because of a change in the new CBA that allows for a medical panel to rule whether or not Bosh would be a risk should he resume his career.

The Lakers would be a possibility for Bosh should he make it back to the league, Jackson speculates. Bosh spends his summers in L.A. and the team’s new GM Rob Pelinka is his former agent. The two-time NBA champions previously said he intends to play again, though it’s unclear if any team will allow him on the court while he’s taking blood thinners for his medical issues.

Heat Notes: Wade, Bosh, J. Johnson, Draft

Udonis Haslem and Tyler Johnson made a public appearance today to help Dwyane Wade sell sneakers, but they avoided questions about whether their former teammate might rejoin them with the Heat, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Wade is considering whether to opt out of his $23.8MM contract with the Bulls for next season. If he does, many believe he will decide to return to Miami, where he spent his first 13 seasons. Haslem and Johnson have both been in touch with Wade since Chicago was eliminated from the playoffs last week. “He’s going to have to make the best decision for him,” Johnson said. “I know he wants to be in a situation where he’s playing for a team that’s kind of established. I don’t think he wants to go through a rebuilding process.”
There’s more news out of Miami:
  • The Heat are expected to petition the league office soon to have Chris Bosh‘s salary removed from their cap. Bosh was kept on the roster all season after failing a physical in training camp over blood clot problems that have plagued him for the past two seasons. Haslem tells Winderman in the same story that he has contacted Bosh but hasn’t discussed his NBA future. “Chris is one of those guys, when he puts his mind it, he can do anything,” Haslem said. “So he doesn’t lack opportunity. He’s going to have a lot of opportunity to do a lot of things. He’s a very well-rounded guy. And whatever he does, he’s going to be great at it.” If Bosh is able to play enough games for another team, his $52MM salary would be put back onto the Heat’s cap.
  • Free agent forward James Johnson may not be guaranteed a starting job if he re-signs with the Heat this summer, Winderman speculates in another piece. With Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic both starting, Johnson may give Miami too many players on the court at the same time who need to handle the ball. Also, Justise Winslow may claim one of the starting forward slots when he returns from injury.
  • Winderman examines who the Heat might take if they keep the No. 14 pick in the May 16th lottery. Players who have been linked to Miami in that spot include Duke’s Harry Giles, UCLA’s T.J. Leaf, North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, California’s Ivan Rabb, Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac, Gonzaga’s Zach Collins, Indiana’s OG Anunoby, Duke’s Luke Kennard, Wake Forest’s John Collins and two overseas players, Terrence Ferguson of Australia and Frank Ntilikina of France.

Pat Riley Talks Wade, LeBron, Future, More

At his season-ending press conference last week, Heat president Pat Riley admitted that this season was a difficult one for him, and that he was disappointed his club wasn’t able to nab a playoff spot after its incredible second-half run. In a fascinating piece for ESPN The Magazine, Wright Thompson takes a deeper dive into Riley’s year, examining the 72-year-old’s reluctance to retire, his thoughts on the end of the Heat’s Big Three era, and much more.

As Thompson details, despite Riley’s plans for his eventual retirement, the Heat president remains committed to his work with the team, joking that the idea that he’s retiring to Malibu is the “greatest lie in the world.” According to Thompson, Riley signed a new five-year contract with the Heat last year that allows him to work from anywhere, meaning he’s able to spend a little more time in Malibu and less time in Miami. However, he’s determined to win at least one more title with the Heat before riding off into the sunset, even as he recognizes that last championship “will be the toughest to get.”

Here are a few more highlights from Thompson’s feature on Riley:

  • According to Riley, Dwyane Wade‘s agent asked to deal directly with Heat ownership last summer, so Riley honored that request. However, he wishes he could have done things differently, especially after hearing that Wade was put off by Riley’s lack of involvement. “I know he feels I didn’t fight hard enough for him,” Riley said. “I was very, very sad when Dwyane said no. I wish I could have been there and told him why I didn’t really fight for him at the end. … I fought for the team. The one thing I wanted to do for him, and maybe this is what obscured my vision, but I wanted to get him another player so he could end his career competitive.”
  • When the Heat made their pitch to LeBron James during his free agency in 2014, Riley became worried that it was something of a courtesy meeting — Thompson notes that LeBron and his reps had their eye on a World Cup game during the meeting, and that Riley asked at one point to mute the volume. After flying home from the Las Vegas sit-down, Riley received a call from James and agent Rich Paul indicating that LeBron would be leaving Miami.
  • Riley on his initial reaction to LeBron’s decision: “I was silent. I didn’t say anything. My mind began to just go. And it was over. I was very angry when LeBron left. It was personal for me. It just was. I had a very good friend who talked me off the ledge and kept me from going out there and saying something like [Cavs owner] Dan Gilbert. I’m glad I didn’t do it.”
  • Riley on ultimately recognizing and respecting LeBron’s decision: “He went home because he had to go home. It was time. It was really time for him to go home, in his prime. If he’s ever gonna do anything in Akron again, this was the time to do it. Otherwise, he’d have had a scarlet letter on his back the rest of his whole life.”
  • With James gone to Cleveland, the Heat were at risk of losing Chris Bosh to the Rockets, prompting Riley to sign Bosh to a long-term, maximum salary deal. According to Thompson, Riley wishes in retrospect that he had said no to Bosh and given that lucrative long-term contract to Wade instead.
  • For more, be sure to check out Thompson’s full feature, which is a great read for Heat fans and non-fans alike.
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