The Heat, non-committal for months about whether Chris Bosh would be cleared to resume his career this season, suggested on Twitter Wednesday evening that it expects him to attend training camp.
"Looking good CB," owner Micky Arison tweeted. "... Look forward to seeing in camp." He ended the Tweet with a basketball emoji.
Arison was responding to a Bosh tweet that included video of him shooting jump shots.
The Heat declined to offer additional clarity on Arison's tweet, including whether Bosh would be cleared medically by team doctors.
Bosh has been awaiting such clearance, according to a source. The Bosh camp has been unhappy about the Heat's handling of the matter, according to an NBA-employed person with direct knowledge of the situation.
Meanwhile, an option has surfaced in which the Heat could allow Bosh to play a limited number of games this season and still get salary cap relief before next summer if Bosh has a setback in his attempt to return from his second blood clot episode in a 12-month period.
It has been widely reported in several publications that the Heat can apply to remove Bosh from its cap only if he does not play in a regular-season game before Feb. 9, the one year anniversary of his last game.
That's true, but there's a key caveat.
According to Section VII (4) (h) (1) of the labor agreement, and cap expert Nate Duncan (who was kind enough to alert me), the labor agreement would allow the Heat to remove his salary from its cap before next summer if he plays in fewer than 10 games this season and then has a setback that's considered career-ending.
Here’s how the labor deal is phrased: “If the player played fewer than 10 in a season, the team can apply 60 days after his last game [to have his salary removed from the cap], or the one-year anniversary of his last game in the previous season, whichever is later.”
Preseason games do not count toward that total but playoff games do.
As noted in our last post updating where the Heat stands with Bosh and the Bosh camp’s frustrations, here’s how the process works:
When a team applies to remove a player from its cap on the grounds that he has sustained a career-ending injury or illness, it must waive the player and then apply for cap relief. According to the labor deal, “the determination as to whether an injury or illness is career ending is made by a physician jointly selected by the league and players association. The determination is based on whether the injury or illness will prevent the player from playing for the remainder of his career, or if it is severe enough that continuing to play constitutes a medically unacceptable risk.”
If the injury exclusion is granted, the player's salary is removed from the team salary immediately.
Bosh is believed to have found at least one doctor who has been receptive to him resuming his career, with use of a blood thinner that would be out of his system in eight hours.
The Heat rejected that proposal when Bosh wanted to return for the playoffs this past spring, but that approach has been discussed against this summer.
If the player later proves the doctors wrong and resumes his career, then his salary is returned to his former team’s salary when he plays in his 25th game in any one season, for any team.
This, according to cap expert Larry Coon’s cap document, “allows a player to attempt to resume his career without affecting his previous team unless his comeback is ultimately successful. If the 25th game was a playoff game, then the player's salary is returned to the cap effective on the date of the team's last regular season game.”
So if Bosh, hypothetically, plays in nine regular-season games or fewer in November and very early December, then suffers a setback, the Heat could apply to remove his salary from the cap on Feb. 9, a process that would be easier if Bosh is not fighting it.
And if Bosh plays in nine games or fewer at any time this season, the Heat still could apply to remove his salary from its cap before free agency next summer if Bosh has a setback that likely would end his career.
Bosh is due to make $25.3 million in 2017-18 and $26.8 million in 2018-19. Removing his 2017-18 salary from Miami’s cap would leave the Heat with more than $42 million in cap space next summer.
Bosh is set to make $23.74 million this summer, making him the NBA's 10th-highest paid player this season, whether he plays or not.
The Heat has said it has no update on whether Bosh will be cleared medically, but Bosh’s wife said this week that he intends to play this season.
A few nuggets from UM football practice:
• UM's defensive line, already weakened by the dismissal of Al Quadin Muhammad, now is dealing with injuries to defensive end Trent Harris (fractured hand) and tackle Anthony Moten (shoulder). Mark Richt said today he expects one of them to play but wouldn't say who's more likely.
But coaches said today that they believe Harris can play with a club on his hand.
• Chad Thomas, Harris and Demetrius Jackson are UM's only game-experienced defensive ends.
"Demetrius is 260 pounds, physical; he's going to be a force vs the run and pass," defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski said. "He has shown more toughness on the field."
• Kuligowski also seems confident about freshmen ends Pat Bethel and Joe Jackson. "Joe Jackson is very physical, great speed," he said. "I think they are going to be great."
But Kuligowski wondered this about his freshmen ends: "When we get to the locker-room, will be see if they're puking?"
• At defensive tackle, Richard McIntosh and Kendrick Norton are entrenched as starters. "They're playing like big, talented guys," Kuligowski said. "Consistent, trust-worthy."
McIntosh, moved from defensive end to tackle by Kuligowski (a very smart move), said today that he and tackle Gerald Willis (expected to be suspended for the opener) are cross-training some at defensive end after AQM's dismissal.
• I asked coordinator Manny Diaz a bunch of questions about losing Grace and AQM, but he insisted that won't be an excuse.
"Who we put out, the expectation is they play fast, tough and physical. Everything else will work out," Diaz said. "Everything is an excuse for me not to play my best. If everybody does their job in a violent manner, we're going to pleased with the outcome... What's changed?... Nothing has changed. We're going to play young guys. We put our trust in those guys. We put trust in anyone we put on the field."
• Diaz said both Jamie Gordinier and Mike Pinckney will play a lot at weakside linebacker. That's one of the few spots where a starter has not been named.