INDIANAPOLIS -- Chris Bosh wants to stay put in Miami. That one piece of the Big 3 has been so outspoken about returning next season should be considered a positive sign the team will remain intact beyond this postseason.
Bosh has said several times, including before this season even started, that he plans on returning to the Heat next season. The 6-11 center reiterated that familiar refrain on Tuesday and Wednesday when asked about his future. Bosh, along with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, has options on his contract after this latest run through the playoffs. During a radio interview on Tuesday, Bosh told Dan Le Batard that he doesn’t “want to go anywhere.”
“I like it here,” Bosh said. “It’s Miami. Everybody wants to come here.”
Bosh told the Miami Herald earlier this season that he wanted to retire in Miami. He has $42 million remaining on his current contract, which expires after the 2015-16 season. A clause in the contract allows Bosh to opt out of the two remaining years and become a free agent. He could leave for a max deal with another team, but that seems unlikely at this point.
Bosh indicated on Tuesday that he would be willing to opt out and sign another deal that could help limit the team’s luxury-tax penalties and give the Heat more roster flexibility for the 2014-15 season. That Bosh is already speaking publicly about taking less money is a good indication that the Heat will remain intact beyond this season.
“If that’s what it takes,” Bosh said.
On Wednesday, Bosh said he was “serious” about the comments during his radio interview but declined to elaborate.
“That’s for a later conversation,” he said. “I’m going to concentrate on this right now and leave that for later business.”
Reports have suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks would be interested in Bosh if he were willing to move. Bosh owns a house in Southern California and was born and raised in Dallas.
The deadline for opt-outs is June 30. Wade and James can also opt out of their contracts, but the players have not discussed their futures. James said before this season that Wade’s health is an important factor in the future of the Heat’s Big 3 era. Wade missed 28 games during the regular season, and coach Erik Spoelstra’s so-called “maintenance program” has benefited Wade this postseason.
Chris Andersen missed his second game in a row because of a thigh bruise. The Heat’s reserve center, who was a key contributor to the victories in Game 2 and 3, stretched before the game and said he felt “terrific” at the morning shootaround, but he was a late scratch. Andersen injured his thigh in Game 3.
“It’s mobility,” Spoelstra said. “He doesn’t have much of it right now. It is getting a little bit better, but he doesn’t have a whole lot of mobility.”
With Andersen out, Spoelstra once again moved Udonis Haslem to a reserve role and started Rashard Lewis at power forward. Reserve guard Ray Allen was questionable for the game because of a sore hip, but he entered with 3:44 left in the first quarter.