Barry Jackson

Decisions looming on Bosh; Heat draft; Musburger leaving; Marlins news

Chris Bosh, of the Miami Heat visibly not happy with the game in the fourth quarter during the game Miami Heat vs New York Knicks on Wed., Jan. 6, 2016 at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Chris Bosh, of the Miami Heat visibly not happy with the game in the fourth quarter during the game Miami Heat vs New York Knicks on Wed., Jan. 6, 2016 at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

A six-pack of Heat, Marlins and media notes:

• A word or two on two recent national media reports regarding Chris Bosh:

1) ESPN reports that “word is” the Bulls would have interest in Chris Bosh next season.

My thoughts: From what I’ve been told, Bosh has not definitively decided whether to resume his career. He certainly has not ruled it out. And the idea of playing again with Dwyane Wade or LeBron James appeals to him.

But here’s the question: Would any NBA team even clear Bosh to resume his career? Some NBA people remain skeptical if he will ever be cleared medically after multiple episodes of blood clotting.

Bosh reached out to the Players Association last spring in efforts to force the Heat to allow him to play, but Bosh has not contacted the union for that type of assistance in recent months, according to a source with direct knowledge. Bosh, in fact, hasn’t responded to some of the union’s calls to check on him.

Even some union officials have doubts about whether he will be cleared to play again.

2) Several national reports said the Heat likely will wait awhile to begin the process of removing Bosh from its salary cap to eliminate the possibility of Bosh going back on its cap this summer. That sentiment was shared by a Heat official recently.

After Feb. 9 -- the anniversary of his last game --- the Heat likely will be able to clear Bosh’s remaining salary of its cap if a doctor independently chosen by the NBA and union agree that his condition is career-ending or puts his life at risk if he continues playing.

But if Bosh plays at least 25 games with another team (including playoffs), his salary goes back on Miami’s cap.

Waiting until May or June to begin that process would prevent that from happening this summer.

But Bosh, we’re told, has not been working toward a comeback this season.

• Sacramento forward Rudy Gay’s ruptured Achilles will potentially impact the Heat, because the potential free agent (who has a $14.6 million opt out) loves the idea of playing for the Heat, and Miami has interest in him as a second-tier free agent if it cannot sign a star.

The injury could drive down Gay’s bargaining position, making him a potentially cheaper option this summer if Miami fails to sign another shooter such as Gordon Hayward.

Gay will still want to be paid well, considering Dallas gave Wes Matthews a four-year, $70 million deal after he ruptured his Achilles for Portland in 2015.

Matthews sustained his injury in March and was ready for the start of the next season.

• The frustration with injuries to Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson, as a scout noted, is that Miami hasn’t seen enough to project either as a starter on a good team.

Richardson said his sprained foot is still painful but surgery hasn’t been discussed and he’s confident he will play again this season....

Meanwhile, an MRI on Tyler Johnson’s strained left shoulder showed no damage and he remains day to day.

• For Heat draft watchers: With some evaluators rating point guards Markelle Fultz (Washington) and Lonzo Ball (UCLA) as the top prospects in the upcoming draft, an ESPN poll of 15 GMs found that 12 named Fultz the top point guard over Ball and projected lottery picks Dennis Smith Jr. (NC State) and De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky).

Fultz “is not just the top point guard,” one NBA general manager told ESPN. “He’s the top player — period. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t come off the board first.”

Another GM: “It’s still somewhat open. But Fultz is the leader for the No. 1 pick.”

• According to a team source, the Marlins have been contacted by reps for free agent first baseman Chris Carter (41 homers but .222 for the Brewers) and Mark Reynolds (.282, 14, 53 for Colorado).

But they don’t want to spend much on a right-handed-hitting first baseman to back up starter Justin Bour because they are considering a 13-man bullpen and a four-man bench (Derek Dietrich, Ichiro Suzuki, AJ Ellis and Miguel Rojas).

Nevertheless, the Marlins haven’t ruled out bringing back Chris Johnson or Jeff Francouer. Each can play first base.

• Legendary announcer Brent Musburger is retiring at the end of the month after nearly 50 years in the industry and 27 at ABC/ESPN.

“​What a wonderful journey I have traveled with CBS and the Disney company,” Musburger said. “A love of sports allows me to live a life of endless pleasure. And make no mistake, I will miss the arenas and stadiums dearly. Most of all, I will miss the folks I have met along the trail.

“But the next rodeo for me is in Las Vegas. Stop by and we'll share a cold one and some good stories. I may even buy!”​

His final assignment: a Georgia-Kentucky basketball game on Jan. 31.

Related stories from Miami Herald