With the Miami Heat and star forward Chris Bosh finally agreeing to part ways, the former All-Star can hope to look toward a future in the NBA. The 33-year old Bosh’s playing career remains suspended due to issues with blood clots, but the contractual issues clogging up Bosh’s return to the court are no longer an obstacle.
It’s still quite possible Bosh – who hasn’t played since 2015 – could be done in the league, but the big man has expressed serious interest in continuing his NBA career in the past. On the surface, that isn’t something Bosh should have much difficulty doing. Bosh’s hefty contract should come off of Miami’s books, which will effectively make him a free agent and allow him to convince a contending team to bring him on as an asset.
Last we saw Bosh, he suited up for the Heat in 53 games and averaged over 19 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Always a quality two-way power forward, Bosh may not necessarily have the ability to log heavy starter minutes anymore, but could provide considerable help off of the right bench. The next big question, of course, is where could this all take Bosh’s talents in 2017? Here’s our five favorite destinations for the former Raptors and Heat star:
If Bosh is going to continue his NBA playing career, chances are he’ll look for the best situation that offers him a combination of three things: money, playing time and a chance to win.
Atlanta isn’t a bad starting point, as they’ll have some cash with Paul Millsap opting out of his contract, this is a playoff team in a weak Eastern Conference and if another strong piece is added, we can’t exactly write the Hawks off as title threats.
The key piece would be Bosh, and even at 33 years old he could still potentially provide an elite two-way presence at the four spot. Millsap did precisely that, as well, but Bosh would be an arguable upgrade and due to his risk, would come cheaper.
A slightly more realistic Chris Bosh landing spot could be Chicago, where Bosh could reunite with former Heat teammate, Dwyane Wade. Wade is tentatively expected to stick with the Bulls for the second season of his original deal, and if that’s the case Chicago could be closer to retooling for a title run, rather than blowing their current roster up.
Chicago’s plans will be quite key in Bosh’s decision, as the team still needs to decide what they want to do with Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo, among other things. If the Bulls keep their roster as is, though, adding Bosh and maybe another veteran could suddenly make this a viable contender.
Another reunion could be just around the corner, as LeBron James is notorious for luring old teammates to come try to win a championship with him. Bosh opted to stay in Miami when James headed back to Ohio a few years back, but maybe with limited options he decides to take a severe cut in playing time and cash flow for another chance at competing for a ring.
I’m not sure I’m sold either way on Bosh, but if he’s going to risk his health to fight his way back into the league, odds are he’ll aim a little higher than being bench fodder for the Cavs. The allure of yet another ring will be tempting, but Bosh may prefer playing a bigger role in a championship run.
If Bosh wants to hit it from every angle, he could latch on with the Rockets, who looked like a title contender this past season before flaming out in six games against the Spurs. Houston certainly has the MVP-caliber leader in James Harden, as well as an elite supporting cast, but could use another strong two-way presence to help stabilize their starting five.
They could probably use that most at the four spot, where Ryan Anderson provides them an outside shooting force, but little else. Options like Paul Millsap, Serge Ibaka and perhaps Bosh could give them bigs who can run and space the floor, as well as defend. Bosh would get some cash, likely steal Anderson’s starting job and have a realistic shot at helping Houston take that next step.
The team that makes the most sense as things stand is probably the Celtics. Boston saw in a 4-1 loss in the Eastern Conference Finals that they need more ammunition at both ends of the court to even hang with the Cavs – let alone actually take them down. Landing a lethal power forward will be a huge step in the right direction, while adding a second top shelf scorer to help take the pressure off of Isaiah Thomas is probably a must, as well.
It’s unclear what Boston plans to do right now, as they do hold the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. They could try to unload that selection in an effort to upgrade their roster, or they could stay the course and bring in a star prospect that will eventually replace Thomas, who is a free agent after next season.
We can’t know what Boston wants to do just yet, but one great move would be cheaply bringing in Bosh and then trading that pick and some assets to land an impact scorer like Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony or Paul George. Perhaps bringing Bosh in early helps lure one of those guys into town a little easier, or vice versa.
The point is Boston needs more rebounding and extra offense and Bosh gives them both, plus a capable defender. If Bosh wants to chase a title, his best bet might be in Boston.
Where Will Bosh Play in 2017?
The problem with predicting where Chris Bosh will play next year is nobody really knows if he’s for sure going to play or if the NBA will let him. Bosh has suggested he’s ready to go as soon as NBA teams clear him, but blood clot issues in his legs have to this point derailed a successful pro basketball career. There’s no guarantee that will cease to happen.
If Bosh does opt to play again and he can prove he won’t have further health woes, teams should eventually express some interest. Title contenders should be among the most interested teams, too, which probably puts the Celtics and Rockets as the leading contenders for now.
If we had to pick one, we’d go with Boston, as the risk would be minimal for a team that is already so close to making a run to the NBA Finals.
Think Bosh is destined to wind up in Boston? Think he could head back to the team that drafted him (Raptors) or go elsewhere? Think he’s done for good? Tell us your thoughts on Bosh’s future in the comments below!
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