NBA Rumors: Chris Bosh’s Health Issues Putting A Major Question Mark On Future Of Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have had a disastrous offseason, as the team was unable to sign Kevin Durant despite being able to get a meeting with the biggest prize on the free agent market. In order to leave enough money in the budget to potentially sign Durant, Heat president Pat Riley completely mishandled his own free agent Dwyane Wade, which led to Wade choosing to depart for his hometown Chicago Bulls.
Instead of landing Durant and re-signing Wade, the Heat re-signed Hassan Whiteside and Tyler Johnson and added players such as Derrick Williams, Wayne Ellington, Luke Babbitt, James Johnson, and Willie Reed through either trade or free agency. While some of these moves provide good value for the Heat, only Whiteside and Goran Dragic have established themselves as bona fide starters in the NBA.
Sure, players like Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson could be ready to make a bigger impact with a larger role in their second NBA season, but as things stand today, the Heat wouldn’t make the playoffs next season. A number of teams in the Eastern Conference got a lot better during the offseason while Miami took a step back.
There is, however, one wild card in this entire situation, and his name is Chris Bosh.
Bosh was averaging 21.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game through 44 games during the 2014-15 season when doctors found blood clots on his lungs that forced Chris to miss the second-half of the season. Bosh was cleared by doctors to return prior to the 2015-16 season, and averaged 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds through 53 games before blood clots once again ended his season.During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, Bosh’s desire to join his teammates on the court was so strong that he was willing to risk potentially dying if the blood clots were to return during a game. Chris was desperate to play, but the Heat and Bosh’s people eventually came to an agreement to announce that his season was over.
“All the doctors the Heat are talking to are saying, and they’re the foremost authorities on this stuff, ‘Hey, a second recurrence of a blood clot situation could be catastrophic, where you’ve got a death on the court,'” ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard said back in May.
Two weeks later, ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst reported that Heat officials were concerned that Chris Bosh’s condition could force him into medical retirement.
“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. 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.
It’s forced everyone to confront the possibility of Bosh ultimately being forced into a medical retirement.”
Fast-forward two months, and the Heat still have no idea whether Chris will ever be able to return to the court. Speaking on Saturday from AmericanAirlines Arena, Riley said it’s not an issue of if Bosh still wants to play, but whether how much risk is involved in actually stepping back onto the court.
“It’s always fluid,” Riley said. “It has been since there was a diagnosis and a decision for him not to play for the rest of the season. What the standard of care is in the situation is what drove us to make that decision. It’s a positive environment right now with Chris and I think his doctors, our doctors are constantly – I think constantly – more so more than ever communicating. I know what Chris wants. I know he wants to play. Obviously we would be open to that. But this is still a very fluid situations. On this day today, the 16th, there’s not an answer. I wish I could give you one. Let’s just let this process move on down the road and go from there.”
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 16, 2016
Not that there’s any way for the Heat to place blame on Bosh for his condition, but it really puts the team in a difficult situation. Chris’s contract is going to count toward the 2016-17 cap whether he is forced to retire or not, so Miami really doesn’t have any other options other than to wait and hope the Bosh is cleared to play for next season.
If Bosh is cleared to play and can perform at a level anywhere close to the last two seasons, the Miami Heat should be a playoff team next year. If Chris Bosh is forced to retire, or play at a reduced level, then the Heat will likely be sitting at home when the 2017 NBA Playoffs take place next April.
[Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]