The Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh has been sidelined since the All-Star break with a blood clot in his leg and now there is a report that suggests Bosh may never play in an NBA game again.
NBA insider Brian Windhorst was a guest on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” and noted that the Heat may never be able to clear Bosh to play even though he believes he can play and even tried to return this season.
“Obviously the Heat and their doctors don’t think he can play,” said Windhorst. “We know this because he didn’t play [in the playoffs] … If this stalemate doesn’t change. If the Heat doctors do not believe he can play in the fall, the Heat are going to be in a difficult position because they may have to try to get Chris Bosh to consider medically retiring.”
In a column for ESPN, Windhorst takes it a step further, saying doctors may never clear Bosh to play again and that the condition has “forced everyone to confront the possibility of Bosh ultimately being forced into a medical retirement.”
Bosh missed the second half of the 2014-15 season when blood clots were found in his lungs. Earlier this season, a new blood clot was discovered in his leg, a condition that could have been fatal if it had gone undetected. There is an additional fear that blood thinners, which can be used to treat Bosh’s condition, can have their own lethal consequences in a contact sport.
As a result, Windhorst says team doctors may be reluctant to ever clear him to play again.
The big issue here is Bosh’s health but there is also basketball concerns for the Heat.
The Heat have now had two seasons derailed by Bosh’s medical condition. They also have $75.9 million in salaries and salary-cap space tied to Bosh over the next three seasons. As Windhorst notes, Bosh would still receive his money and the Heat would have a large chunk paid by insurance, but the Heat can’t wipe that contract from the salary-cap ledger until Bosh has been out for at least a year.
“If they bring him back in the fall, and if they can find some doctor who says he’s OK, and then he has another occurrence, it will then affect a fourth season.” Windhorst told ESPN Radio.
In other words, the Heat are not only stuck not knowing how to build a team for the 2016-17 season (the third season impacted by his condition), but if Bosh attempts to play and another clot is discovered, his clock is reset and and won’t expire until the middle of the 2017-18 season. If that happens, the Heat won’t be able to use Bosh’s cap space until 2018-19 at the earliest.
Windhorst is adamant that the Heat would prefer to have Bosh playing. But if the Heat are unwilling to take on the risk of a star player having a condition that could kill him at any moment on the court, they must find a way to move on from Bosh’s contract. But for now, they are stuck.
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