The Miami Heat played without big men Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside when they found themselves eliminated from the playoffs Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.
There’s now a decent chance that neither will be back with the team. Whiteside will be a free agent this summer, and could move on for greener pastures elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Bosh has not played since before the All-Star break with blood clot issues. It’s the second consecutive season that Bosh has sat out extended time due to this scary health concern.
Remember, the issue last season was that the clots found their way to Bosh’s lungs, a serious issue that could have resulted in his death.
Now, months removed from seeing the court, it’s being reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that the Heat are concerned that Bosh may never play again:
“There is a fear within the Heat organization that Bosh’s condition will prevent him from ever being cleared to play by team doctors, several sources said,” the NBA insider reported. “It’s a result of exhaustive consultations with specialists. Something this big and delicate, the sides have gone deep attempting to understand all the options.”
While the Heat’s primary concern here is over Bosh’s health, they are going to have to plan accordingly moving forward. He’s owed $75 million over the next three seasons, and if the team is unable to rely on him, that’s money it could use elsewhere … potentially to re-sign Whiteside.
If Bosh, who hasn’t played since February, sits out a calendar year, the Heat can apply for an exemption that would allow them to take his contract off the books. This would still enable Bosh to receive his $75 million while giving Miami the necessary cap relief to fill out its roster.
All this is conjecture at this point. Miami has made sure to be purposely standoffish on the topic in the media.
In fact, head coach Erik Spoelstra beat around the bush when discussing the 11-time All-Star following the team’s loss to Toronto on Sunday:
“I feel very badly for CB because I know how much this game means to him,” Spoelstra said. “I think everybody knows how much CB means to me.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Bosh’s ability to return, but definitely more vague than fans would have liked.
Bosh, 32, averaged 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in 54 games this past season.