Chris Bosh

A healthy Chris Bosh could have done a lot of damage in the playoffs with the Miami Heat. Not having a cloudy future health-wise would have made the Heat’s 2016-2017 season outlook seem a lot better. But his last two seasons being cut short due to blood clots put one big dark cloud over the future of his NBA career.

The Heat are concerned about two things. One is Bosh actually being able to play or not. Doctors seem to be putting pressure on him to retire, as the combination of the blood clots and basketball can put him in life threatening situations. And the other issue is money, obviously.

The Heat are hoping that if Bosh does indeed not return to the basketball courts, he’ll be granted a medical retirement, which could happen if an independent doctor rules that Bosh cannot continue playing in the NBA. Bosh himself is looking to continue his career, and is telling his teammates that he’s planning on playing again and making another bounce back from this issue.

Another option for the Heat, which is being considered, is using the stretch provision. Bosh has three years remaining on his contract worth $75 million. The stretch provision allows teams to spread the cap hit over double the remaining contract years, which would mean making it a lot more affordable, and less damaging on their cap situation. The Detroit Pistons used the stretch provision when releasing Josh Smith.

Using the stretch release means Bosh is free to sign with any team he wants, while still getting paid by the Heat, minus what his next contract will be. However, waiving him through the stretch provision means the Heat won’t get the medical retirement, even if Bosh doesn’t play again in the NBA. The medical retirement takes the remaining cap hit off the books completely. Bosh would make his money, but the Heat won’t be limited by its effect.

When playing, the 32-year old was still very good over the last two seasons, twice getting selected to the All-Star game. In 97 regular season games, he averaged 20 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, hitting 36.9% of his shots. He missed the postseason run in 2016, which ended in 7 games against the Toronto Raptors in the conference semifinals. Bosh being healthy could have given the Heat a serious advantage in that series, not to mention making the first round encounter with the Charlotte Hornets a lot easier.

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