Chris Bosh will not be the only member of “The Big Three” firmly staying put. The agenda of Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron has not yet been publicly disclosed. However, sources are beginning to suspect LeBron and his fellow all-stars will return to the Miami Heat next season. Reports have confirmed that Bosh will follow suit with his teammates for the past four seasons and become a free agent.
Henry Thomas, Bosh’s agent informed general manager Pat Riley of the decision Sunday afternoon. The deadline for the 11 year player to decline or accept his option will be Monday. In “exercising early termination rights,” Bosh will have to forego the two years and $42.6 million left from his previous contract. Bosh is a nine time NBA All-Star who has helped the Heat win two NBA Finals championships. The 6’11” Bosh has manned the center position for the Miami Heat, due to a lack of skilled players with size on their roster.
Bosh’s position has listed him as a center and power forward throughout his career, but he has excelled as a stretch five with head coach Eric Spoelstra’s offensive system. Spoelstra has used Bosh as a perimeter weapon to cause mismatches for opposing big men. Centers often are reluctant to cover deep perimeter jumpers and often leave the smooth shooting southpaw uncontested or with two much time to shoot. As one of the better mid ranges shooters in the NBA when he arrived four years ago, Bosh has honed his game in recent years to expanding his shooting range.
Bosh attempted just 89 less three-point shots this season than he did for the previous ten seasons combined. In the playoffs, he shot 40 percent from the three-point line, serving as a floor spacer for LeBron and Wade. He was also drafted in the same infamous 2003 draft class, which included his teammates Wade, James and free agent Carmelo Anthony. Bosh spent seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors as their primary offensive target.
In his final season at the Air Canada Center, he averaged career highs with 24 points and 10 rebounds per game. Since following suit and signing to team up with LeBron and Wade, Bosh’s role has been much less prominent than it was during his Raptors career. Last season, he put up decent, but career low, numbers of 16 points and 6 rebounds per game. Despite making the All-Star team yet again his performance was not nearly as aggressive offensively as one would expect him to be, particularly when considering the absence of Wade for much of the season with knee troubles.
There is no certainty as to whether Bosh or any of the Heat’s “Big Three” will resign. However, most sources believe that the trio has decided to opt out collectively to give the team “financial flexibility” for the future. Had Bosh or any of the three stars remained under contract the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, it would have limited the ability of Riley to acquire complimentary pieces.
The decision Chris Bosh has made to follow suit of LeBron and Wade comes as no surprise. The group has already met to discuss their futures. Bosh’s decision gives clout to speculation that all three players will resign for significantly less money as they did four years ago. In doing so, the Heat front office would be hopeful that they can bring in role players and add bench depth.
Commentary by Brandon Wright