The Heat are no longer working towards Bosh returning to the court after failing his physical for training camp on Friday after it was discovered that Bosh had another episode of blood clots.
“We are not,” Riley said when asked if the team was still working towards a Bosh return from his office at American Airlines Arena. “I think Chris is still open-minded. But we are not working toward his return.”
“We feel that, based on the last exam, that his Heat career is probably over.”
When asked if he felt Bosh’s NBA career was over, Riley told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel that the decision was up to him.
The 32-year-old Bosh has been out for the second half of the NBA season each of the past two years due to blood clots, with a blood clot in his lung being the case in 2014-2015, and a blood clot in his calf being the problem in 2015-2016.
Miami would be able to remove Bosh from his salary cap on February 9th (the date of Bosh’s last NBA game in 2016) if Bosh is ruled medically unable to play by a doctor selected by the NBA and the NBA Player’s Association.
“His health, playing and economics — it’s been health, health, health,” Riley said.“Whatever the cap ramifications are, they are there, but we never ever thought about that. … Contrary to how this thing has been perpetuated in the media, we have worked very, very hard with Chris. We headed down the road very excited to a point where we thought it would work. And then the physical couldn’t clear him to the next step.”
Bosh reportedly met with Riley and Heat owner Micky Arison in February and Bosh told the Heat to “stay with me on this.” Riley told Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald that the two parties agreed to a protocol in June for Bosh’s future with the team.
The news about Bosh adds to what was already a rough off-season for the Heat after losing franchise pillar Dwyane Wade to the Bulls and losing forwards Luol Deng and Joe Johnson to the Lakers and the Jazz respectively. The team was able to retain center Hassan Whiteside, but outside of that, there were a lot more negative factors than positive.
“We are rebuilding now. We’re not tweaking like we did with the big three team. Or retooling, like we did after LeBron (James) left,” Riley said.
The Heat currently have 15 guaranteed contracts including Bosh on their roster with Briante Weber and Rodney McGruder having non-guaranteed deals. In addition to clearing all of Bosh’s cap hit, the Heat could apply for a $5.6 million disabled player exception, which would allow the Heat to sign or trade a player for that amount.
In six NBA seasons for the Heat, Bosh averaged 18 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, totalling 384 games. Bosh currently has a 99.5% chance of making the Basketball Hall of Fame, per Basketball Reference.
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