Chris Bosh will spend the next five Monday nights serving as a studio analyst for TNT during its Players Only broadcasts of double-headers, a move he’s looking forward to because he says it will allow him to “continue to be around the game.”
Ultimately, how much Bosh still wants to be involved in the game as a player is the question those concerned with the future of the Miami Heat’s salary cap are really worried about.
Bosh, 32, wasn’t asked that question Thursday night during a quick six minute interview on NBA TV. But he did offer some perspective on his five-week venture into broadcasting.
“It's going to be different – a little different being on the other side for a little bit,” the sidelined 11-time All-Star responded when studio host Matt Winer welcomed him as a new member of the media.
“I mean, probably the best part of it is not having to sweat or run up and down and get yelled at. I think that’ll be kind of cool,” Bosh continued when asked why he wanted to do it.
“You know, just being able to continue to be around the game, I think that's the most important part. I watch basketball either way. Being able to do that and being around such great players that have done such amazing things for the NBA and the game of basketball itself, I’m very excited.”
The Heat, which play its first game after the All-Star break here against the Hawks, are expected to begin the process of clearing Bosh’s contract from its salary cap in March.
Once an independent doctor rules that Bosh, who has been battling ongoing issues with blood clots since the 2015 All-Star Game, can’t play again, the Heat can apply to clear his $23.7 million cap hold for this season and $25 million cap hit for next season.
Bosh’s salary, though, goes back against Miami’s cap the moment he plays 25 games with another team. Although that won’t happen this season, Bosh has yet to completely rule out a return to basketball in the future, and if he does make a come back and plays again it would affect the Heat moving forward.
Miami had been working with Bosh, who hasn’t played since Feb. 9 of last season, to return this season even going as far as plotting ways for him to come off blood thinning medication to play in games before going back on the pills. But after he failed a physical in September, Heat president Pat Riley said Bosh’s career with the Heat was probably over.
Bosh, though, wasn’t talking about any of that Thursday.
He was asked for his insight on the moves made at the trade deadline and whether or not any teams in the Eastern Conference would be able to catch defending champion Cleveland and his former Heat teammate LeBron James.
“I think there's been some very compelling moves especially with Toronto making moves themselves, getting Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker. I think that’s kind of like a win-now mentality,” Bosh said. “You can see they’re kind of preparing themselves, having another body to be able to put on LeBron and make him work as much as possible.
“I think with Boston, they probably are in a good situation. They like what they have. They didn’t do much if anything at all. They’ve really picked up their play. I think for them, their move with Al Hoford, it was a win-now mentality. They have to really prove they can compete.
“I think with Washington, they’re very interesting because they got off to a very slow start. I definitely had them finishing in the top four in the East, but the slow start kind of surprised everybody. But they're playing well at the right time. We’ll see what they can do in the second half.”
Is Cleveland vulnerable?
“You're always vulnerable,” Bosh said. “If you don’t think that you’re vulnerable, if everybody says that you’re not vulnerable, I think that’s a problem. There’s always chinks in the armor, no matter how good you are as a team. Whether they’re vulnerable or not, they’re the defending champions. They have the best player in the game right now and they’re just going through the process of the regular season.
“With Kevin Love and J.R. Smith being hurt, you have to remember that they have two of their main guys out, huge contributors, but they’re still being able to find ways to win ballgames. The big part about making it back to the Finals – is getting in the playoffs and sustaining your play – is how healthy you can be at the right time. When you get to the end, the healthiest team has the best chance of winning. We’ve seen that year in and year out. I’m sure they have to take that in mind especially with the setbacks and injuries they’ve had.”