The lengthy process that requires the Miami Heat to officially remove Chris Bosh‘s steep salary from the NBA team’s salary cap is virtually complete after a league doctor came to the conclusion that Bosh’s blood clot issues are forcing him to end his career.
Anthony Chiang of the Palm Beach Post noted that the final step in the long and often contentious situation is for the Heat to simply release Bosh, which won’t happen right away. However, the expectation is that once Miami determines that cap space is needed, Bosh’s time with the organization will officially end. That time is expected to be fairly soon, with the NBA Draft coming on June 22 followed nine days later by the start of free agency.
Bosh has been unable to play for the Heat since Feb. 9, 2016, due to the blood clot concerns that had first surfaced one year earlier. The Heat could have released him on the first anniversary of that date last February. However, given the slim chance that they might’ve been liable for the salary if he played for another team caused them to hold off on any such transaction.
Chiang wrote about the strategy behind the Heat’s move:
“Under the current NBA collective-bargaining agreement that expires on June 30, Bosh’s cap hit would go back on the Heat’s books if he were to return and play 25 total games in a single season for another team. But with the new CBA set to take effect on July 1, the timing of the Heat-Bosh situation allowed for a unique agreement that allows Miami to operate without having to worry about Bosh’s cap space ever returning to its cap.”
The deal had previously been worked out by the Heat, Bosh, NBPA and the league itself, and will now provide the Heat with an expected $38 million in cap space for any draftees or free agents. While the Heat are still responsible for a portion of Bosh’s remaining $52.1 million salary over the next two years, the bulk of that amount will be paid by insurance.
The release doesn’t necessarily mean that Bosh will immediately announce his retirement, though it seems extremely remote that any team would make the effort to sign him. The reason primarily stems from the similarities between Bosh’s case and that of the late Hank Gathers, who died soon after collapsing during a game in 1990.