FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN
After spending so much time away from power forward, his natural and preferred position, and subjugating his ego, and taking fewer shots, the question invariably will come up: Now that he has won championships, would the lure of being a No. 1 or No. 2 option elsewhere appeal to Chris Bosh when he can exercise an option to become a free agent this summer?
Bosh says that’s not the way he’s thinking. He reiterated this past week that he “for sure” wants to spend the rest of his career with the Heat.
“It’s one of the best places to be in the world,” he said. “We have a family environment here. It works out for us. It’s great.”
Some expect the Lakers to pursue Bosh, who spends some offseason time in Los Angeles. But he said his desire is clearly to stay in Miami. “I’m a pretty good fit here. It’s worked out. We have a little bit of hardware.”
Bosh, who will be making his ninth All-Star Game appearance, said he hasn’t considered whether he will keep his current contract, which would pay him $20.6 million and $22.1 million the next two seasons, or opt out, which would allow him to sign with the Heat for additional seasons or listen to other teams. He could earn no more than $20.5 million next season from the Heat –a slight pay cut - if he opts out, NBA cap expert Larry Coon said.
Don’t underestimate how good a season Bosh has had. Miami has outscored teams by a team-best 287 with Bosh on the floor --- 15th in the league and far better than LeBron James (plus-223) or Dwyane Wade (plus-174), though James and Wade usually play some minutes with four backups.
Among starting centers, Bosh ranks second in three-point field-goal percentage (35.5), third in scoring (16.6) and eighth in field-goal percentage (53.0). Players that he’s guarding are shooting just 41 percent, and he’s in the top 21 percent of the league in points allowed per possession.
"Chris Bosh is the most underrated power forward in basketball because of what he does on the offensive end and creates so many mismatches,” TNT’s Kenny Smith said. In fact, the Heat has outscored teams by 14 per 48 minutes when Bosh moves from center to power forward and plays alongside Chris Andersen or Greg Oden.
Bosh, 29, still enjoys power forward more than center because “I get to roam around a little bit. It's more free flowing, especially in this offensive system.
[At center], you're obligated to be physical. One of the great things about our system is that the 5 [center] creates many triggers for our team. But at the 4 [power forward], you can kind of dictate more what you feel like doing that day."
Erik Spoelstra said because of the development of Bosh’s three-point game, the Heat no longer sacrifices spacing when he plays Bosh at power forward.
Bosh has drained 38 of 107 three-pointers – after making 37 of 134 in his first three Heat seasons combined. “Practicing that three-point shot has helped us out a lot,” he said. Before, “I wasn’t able to get those extra points. But I never want to force it.”
### Before hitting a game-winning three-pointer to beat Golden State on Wednesday, James had been 0 for 7 in his regular-season career on potential go-ahead three-pointers in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.
### Though Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has felt strongly about using a 4-3 defense, not everyone internally agrees. “A lot of teams would love to have our personnel in a 3-4,” a Dolphins official said. The Dolphins were third in run defense in 2011, their final year in a 3-4. They were 24th this past season….
The Dolphins haven’t made offers yet to impending free agent defensive tackles Paul Soliai or Randy Starks but will meet soon with both their agents, hoping to keep at least one.
### TMZ reported today that a New Jersey police chief wrote a letter to investigator Ted Wells asserting that Richie Incognito did nothing wrong during an allegedly explosive April 26 dinner with Jonathan Martin and contradicted an allegation that Martin stormed out when Incognito used the n-word. Former Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano, who was reportedly at that dinner, told me Wednesday that Martin and Incognito were “good friends” and he never saw Incognito bully Martin.
### UM quarterback Kevin Olsen said he was told the quarterback job will be an open competition. But departing Stephen Morris said Thursday he has “no doubt” Ryan Williams will win the job.
Morris, who is training for the draft at Pete Bommarito’s Performance Center in North Miami Beach, said Williams will surprise people next season. “You don’t need a rocket arm to be a great quarterback,” Morris said. But Williams has improved his arm strength in the past year, which has coaches encouraged.
Morris and former UM teammate Allen Hurns are among dozens of NFL draft prospects training with the highly-respected Bommarito.
### On Monday, we mentioned you will be hearing a lot this year about five-star Coconut Creek Monarch prospect Calvin Ridley, rated the second-best receiver in the 2015 class. Ridley told canesport.com today that even though he was once leaning toward UM, that is no longer the case, without giving a specific reason. But UM remains one of many schools under consideration.
# Because Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria authorized a payroll of around $45 million, team management needed his permission in the past week to sign Carlos Marmol ($1.25 million) and Jeff Baker (two years, $3.7 million), who pushed the 2014 payroll to $48 million….Three-time All-Star shortstop Rafael Furcal, 36 and coming off 2013 shoulder surgery, said Wednesday he hasn’t played second base in 15 years but believes he will be comfortable there. “It’s no problem for me moving to second when you have a shortstop [Adeiny Hechavarria] who will be an All-Star.”
### The Palm Beach Post reported David Beckham is considering Miami Vice and Miami Current as names for his MLS team, but Beckham’s publicist, Bruce Rubin, said that’s untrue, called the report “rubbish” and said no names have been considered.