Barry Jackson

Miami Heat has sound reasons for delaying Bosh release

Udonis Haslem, looks on as Chris Bosh, reacts as the Miami Heat leads against the Toronto Raptors, in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Fri., May 13, 2016.
Udonis Haslem, looks on as Chris Bosh, reacts as the Miami Heat leads against the Toronto Raptors, in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Fri., May 13, 2016. pportal@elnuevoherald.com

Chris Bosh was scheduled to speak with a high-ranking Heat official this week, as the sides try to move past the rancor created by the Heat’s justified unwillingness to allow him to play after a third blood clotting episode and failed physical last September.

The Heat has no intention of using him in a game but has delayed his inevitable release and removing him from its salary cap (a process that was allowed to begin Feb. 9) for two reasons, according to multiple sources:

• Miami doesn’t need the roster spot just yet, and none of the recent available free agents held great appeal to the Heat.

• More importantly, Miami want to keep alive the not-very-likely possibility of being able to trade Bosh (after the season) to a team that might want to trade something Miami wants or a team that believes he could play or (as was the case before last month’s trade deadline) a team that needed to get to the cap floor. There were preliminary trade inquiries earlier this season.

Though insurance will pay a large part of Bosh’s remaining salary, trading him would mean Miami would be on the hook for none of that salary. Also, if another team trades for Bosh, it would eliminate any possibility of him going back on Miami’s cap if he plays 25 games in one season for another team, a possibility that otherwise exists.

Bosh was due $76 million over the final three seasons of his contract, including this one. The Vertical’s Bobby Marks reported that $40.95 million would be paid by insurance and $34.9 million paid by Heat or any team that acquires Bosh.

A team trading for Bosh would not be permitted to apply to remove his salary from its cap, which would make less him appealing to other teams in a trade.

The Heat intends to part ways with Bosh before it needs to clear off his salary from its cap prior to July free agency.

The Heat is confident that a doctor chosen by the league and union will rule that his condition is career-threatening or severe enough to put him at risk if he plays. Such a ruling would remove his remaining salary from Miami’s cap: $25.3 million next season and $26.8 million in 2018-19.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says team can't live in the past and must create new path. Sept. 28, 2016.

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