The Miami Heat re-signed a member of the Big Three that originally joined the organization prior to the 2010-11 NBA season to a max contract on Friday. It wasn’t LeBron James, though, as the King is heading back home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Instead, the Heat have reportedly agreed to terms with veteran big man Chris Bosh.
Bosh and the Heat have agreed to five-year deal that will pay the forward/center around $118 million over that span. Over the past four seasons in Miami, Bosh has averaged 17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and one block per game while shooting 50.9 percent from the floor. Moreover, he’s become a versatile offensive big man by developing his shot from the perimeter.
Considering the departure of LeBron, it’s not that surprising that the Heat were willing to give such a substantial amount of money to Bosh. The argument has been made that Bosh isn’t a max player, but he’s proven before that he can be highly effective and productive when he’s put into a featured role and isn’t essentially the third option behind two more ball-dominant players. For Miami, the signing makes sense.
Conversely, Bosh is making a huge mistake by returning to the Heat and spurning the four-year max-contract that was extended to him by the Houston Rockets.
While Bosh is still immensely talented, his services are best suited in a role where he’s not the primary option. Even if Dwyane Wade returns to the Heat, Bosh is going to be option 1B at the very least. If Wade returns and has the issues he showed in the 2014 Finals, Bosh will be 1A. That will lead to success in the Eastern Conference, but it’s almost certainly not leading to another Finals appearance.
Had Bosh gone to Houston, though, he would have been the missing piece. He’s a versatile option in the post that can spread the floor to create space for Dwight Howard, play well off of James Harden, and sure up the interior of a defense that needs those contributions at the power forward position. With Bosh, the Rockets would be an interesting and justifiable pick as the favorites in the Western Conference.
Instead, Bosh is still in the East and still with the Heat. Perhaps it was the fifth year and substantial amount of money that swung him in that direction. If that’s the case, you can’t totally blame the guy; money often has the loudest voice. When you look at the basketball and the chance at more titles, though, Bosh’s best opportunity lied in Houston. Apparently, though, the best opportunity isn’t always what takes precedence.