MIAMI: Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat, divided on whether or not the 11-time All-Star forward can keep playing after blood clots, have reached a tentative deal to part ways, ESPN reported Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
Talks that included the NBA players union brought a final end to the “Big Three” era in Miami that saw LeBron James, now with reigning NBA champion Cleveland, and Dwyane Wade, now at Chicago, combine with Bosh to bring the Heat two titles and two other finals appearances in four seasons.
Bosh, 33, failed a pre-season physical and missed this past season. He has not played since February 2016 because of blood clot issues, but he remained on the roster and cut into Miami’s salary cap funds as legal and medical issues were considered.
Bosh has a five-year contract worth $118 million that runs through the 2018-19 season.
Lawyers and agents for both the Heat and Bosh are reviewing terms of the separation agreement before signing, ESPN reported.
Bosh is assured the remaining $25.3 million salary for 2017-18 and $26.8 million salary for 2018-19, but a major amount of that is covered by insurance and the deal will likely remove Bosh from the Heat salary cap when a new collective bargaining deal begins on July 1.
Bosh has been urged to retire but insists he has hope of finding a treatment plan that would allow him to return and play in the future.
Over 893 career games in 13 NBA seasons, seven with Toronto Raptors and six with Miami, Bosh has averaged 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds. He averaged 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds over 53 games for the Heat in the 2015-16 campaign before blood clots cut short his season.
Without him, the Heat went 41-41 last season, edged by Chicago on a tie-breaker for the last Eastern Conference playoff berth.