Heat’s Big 3 era ends as deal struck for Bosh to go

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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 on Wed­nes­day.

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 US$118 mil­lion (RM531 mil­lion) that runs through the 201819 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 US$25.3 mil­lion salary for 2017-18 and US$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 4141 last season, edged by Chicago on a tie-breaker for the last East­ern Con­fer­ence play­off berth. AFP

Chris Bosh

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