An NBA doctor ruled Friday that Chris Bosh has a career-ending illness, according to multiple reports. The diagnosis allows the Miami Heat to waive the veteran forward and save significantly under the salary cap. Bosh, 33, missed all of this season with a recurrence of the blood-clot issues that sidelined him for the second halves of the previous two years.
Bosh reportedly came to an agreement with the team last month allowing him to play for another team without incurring salary-cap consequences for the Heat. The 11-time all-star, who spent the past six seasons in Miami, is owed more than $52 million over the next two seasons, an amount that largely will be covered by insurance.
Bosh hasn’t played since Feb. 9, 2016, and he failed a physical before this season. The Heat had been in a tricky situation because the language in the league’s collective bargaining agreement was affecting his situation. But that pact won’t take effect until July 1, when free agency begins.
Now Miami can release Bosh, leaving the team with $38 million in cap space, and make a personnel move before or during the NBA draft June 22. The agreement was reportedly struck with the input of the league and its players’ union.
If he chooses to continue his NBA career — a preference Bosh has expressed while his health situation played out — he must submit medical evidence that he is fit to play to the league. Otherwise, Bosh, the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Toronto Raptors, will retire as a two-time champion with career averages of 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds. Those numbers could have been higher, but Bosh agreed to take something of a back seat to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, when he joined the Heat in 2010.
“Miami had about 50 million reasons for him to play and could not get a doctor to clear him,” an NBA executive told NBA.com’s David Aldridge last month. “Very unlikely the answer will be different at a team with zero million reasons for him to play.”