• One Big Thing: The Bosh Dilemma

    The NBA has been pretty free and clear of post-career health concerns; easily in the best shape of the four major sports. Some of that is attributable to the less-demanding physical toll that basketball has compared to hockey or football and fewer PED concerns than baseball (and football too, really).

    Not to say that basketball is easier by any means. It’s just that players can enter retirement without having the looming specter of serious health issues hanging over their heads.

    The league has also chosen to prioritize player safety and has actually followed through with action. They have continued to limit back-to-backs and stretches of four games in five nights while another nameless league refuses to cut down a meaningless preseason and continues to move more and more games off of Sundays, robbing players of valuable recovery time.

    The NBA has also instituted a concussion protocol and seems to take these things seriously, unlike a certain sport’s commissioner who has tried to downplay the seriousness of concussions in hockey. Point being the NBA seems like it’s in a good spot in terms of player health and safety.

    And yet there’s one extremely interesting case down in Miami. One with huge ramifications that doesn’t seem to have a precedent set.

    Chris Bosh is a hooper. So it was said, so it shall be.

    I know he didn’t mean it like The Hoopers from the commercial but I’d totally buy him as a cool uncle in the next batch of ads. But I digress.

    Bosh has had a pretty interesting ride, all things considered. He was a top pick in Toronto and sort of took the torch from Vince Carter as the franchise cornerstone. He toiled away in relative obscurity and was undoubtedly either the best or second best Raptor of all time before leaving in free agency.

    Even when he arrived in Miami he was mocked as the gofer for LeBron and Dwyane Wade – the lackey for the ‘real’ superstars. Bosh grew into the spotlight with time as it became impossible to deny how integral he was to Miami’s performance.

    LeBron was LeBron, of course, but there are plenty of arguments to be made that CB was the straw that stirred the drink. His ability to step out and defend allowed Miami’s aggressive pick blitzing strategy to work where lesser defenders would’ve sunk the ship. He functioned as a handy offensive player and worked on his outside shooting until he emerged as the stretchy big man we know him to be.

    Along the way he’s gone back and forth from go-to guy to perfect complementary piece depending on what’s needed. Chris Bosh has had a pretty tremendous run.

    His future is looking hazy thanks to blood clots. Blood clots are obviously no joke, as evidenced by all of the talk about Bosh’s status this summer.

    It’s going to be insanely tough to find team doctors who will clear a player who has to play on blood thinners. It’s going to be just as tough to avoid the blood thinners with the persistent clotting issues.

    Bosh was upset at the team’s kid gloves; he felt that he was good to go whereas doctors wouldn’t clear him for action. Not being able to take the court when you feel fine is undoubtedly a frustrating sensation, but keeping him out until he’s 100% in the clear is the right call every time.

    Team owner Mickey Arison recently tweeted that he’s looking forward to seeing Bosh at training camp while Pat Riley has been decidedly less transparent about the situation.

    There are those who think that the Heat would like if Bosh just retired. It’d spare them the uncomfortable decision of keeping Bosh on the sideline while also allowing them to take his contract off their cap sheet. That’s both deeply cynical and unfair to an organization that is generally well-regarded around the league.

    The best outcome for everyone is for Bosh to get healthy and get back to being his usual self on the floor. That saves headaches for everyone. It just doesn’t look like that will happen in Miami without some major headaches.

    There’s a veneer of optimism, especially from Bosh and Arison, but until we get some official word it seems like this has the potential to get nasty as the clock ticks. There are milestone dates that will affect Bosh’s cap hit as well as insurance payouts that could give the Heat a break.

    Regardless, the odds are stacked that one party leaves the impending standoff unhappy. Bosh’s contract could be wiped from the cap thanks to ‘medical retirement’ if he plays in fewer than 10 games. If he does get cleared, a major hurdle in its own right, and experiences another setback? It’s surely the end of his NBA career and it paints the Heat as greedy and reckless.

    Again, the Heat would absolutely love to have Bosh back. They’re also looking at Bosh’s long-term health and their own liability in the case of something catastrophic.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how this shakes out. The NBA, the Heat and Bosh are looking down the barrel of a unique situation. Hopefully the precedent established here isn’t one that gets dusted off too many times in the future, but time is running out to get some resolution. The future grows increasingly murky with each passing day.

    We might be on the precipice of a significant event in league history as it pertains to player health and safety. Unfortunately for Chris Bosh, that might come at his expense.

Fantasy News

  • Vincent Poirier
    C, Boston Celtics

    The Celtics have announced the signing of Vincent Poirier.

    Poirier joins the Celtics after six professional seasons in Europe and is believed to be on a two-year deal. Last season he averaged 10.5 points (61.6 percent shooting), 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.0 blocked shots in 73 games between EuroLeague and Liga ACB competition. Poirier figures to be battling Daniel Theis and Robert Williams for playing time behind Enes Kanter and doesn't have much fantasy appeal.

    Source: Boston Celtics

  • Ben Simmons
    PG, Philadelphia Sixers

    Ben Simmons has agreed to a five-year, $170 max contract extension with the Sixers.

    The Sixers reportedly offered up the deal a couple weeks ago and the sides have been ironing out the details since. It's not surprising that things resolved quickly, and Philly wasted no time in giving Simmons huge money. He's a jump shot away from being truly elite. For fantasy purposes, until we see Simmons either hit some threes or improve his free throw shooting, he remains a prime over-draft candidate. The stat set holes are simply too impactful to select the talented young guard before the third round.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • William Howard
    F, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have a verbal agreement to sign French forward William Howard, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.

    Howard is a 25-year-old from Montbrison, France who spent the last two seasons with Limoges in France's LNB Pro A. He averaged 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 threes per game, shooting .411 from the field in 24.9 mpg. While last season saw Howard post career-low marks from deep, he is a .364 3-point shooter across five seasons in the LNB Pro A. It's unlikely that Howard plays much for the Jazz this season.

    Source: Eric Walden on Twitter

  • Wesley Matthews
    SG, Milwaukee Bucks

    Michael Scotto of The Athletic is reporting that Wesley Matthews' deal with the Bucks is for two years and $5.3 million, with a player option on the second season.

    Matthews was initially reported to be heading to Milwaukee on a one-year deal for the minimum, and that may still essentially be the case given the likelihood that Matthews opts out if he has a strong season. Either way, it's a nice piece of business for the Bucks, who get a 3-and-D wing player at a very affordable price. Matthews is shaping up as a low-end source of threes and steals, as he typically does.

    Source: Michael Scotto on Twitter

  • Andre Iguodala
    SF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Shams Charania is reporting that the Clippers and the Rockets are the two teams still "strongly pursuing" Andre Iguodala in trade talks.

    Charania adds that the Mavs and the Nuggets have also engaged Memphis but those discussions never gained much traction. The Rockets are hesitant to increase their tax bill while the Clippers don't want to part with Moe Harkless, who is the only player on the roster that represents a salary match. If either of these two teams wants to execute a trade, it looks like it will require another team.

    Source: Stadium on Twitter

  • Alize Johnson
    PF, Indiana Pacers

    The second-year option for Alize Johnson has been fully guaranteed.

    Johnson, who put up an excellent performance at Summer League, will make $1.4 million this season. He is unlikely to play much but the Pacers have been consistent in their view that he is a player worth developing over the long-term.

    Source: Indianapolis Star

  • JR Smith
    SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Cavs are expected to waive J.R. Smith on Monday if no last-minute trade emerges, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

    It would be shocking if someone went out and traded for Smith, who will be guaranteed $4 million of his $15 million salary. The Lakers have already been mentioned as a potential landing spot, and Smith doesn't figure to have a ton of teams eager to sign him after the way last season went off the rails.

    Source: Joe Vardon on Twitter

  • Duncan Robinson
    F, Miami Heat

    The Heat will be picking up Duncan Robinson's $1 million guarantee for the upcoming season.

    Robinson played well throughout Summer League and will now officially be on the roster. He only appeared in 15 games last season, and although he's showed some promise Robinson will likely need another trade to go down to open up a serious shot at playing time.

    Source: Tim Reynolds on Twitter

  • Henry Ellenson
    PF, Brooklyn Nets

    Henry Ellenson has signed a two-way contract with the Nets.

    Ellenson left the Knicks in Summer League due to personal reasons, but the former lottery pick has resurfaced with the other New York team. He'll give the Nets someone who can provide stretch four play in a pinch, but odds are he'll spend most of his time in the G-League. Time is running out for Ellenson to establish himself as an NBA player.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis has decided not to participate in Team USA training camp and has withdrawn from FIBA World Cup consideration.

    Davis has chosen to spend his offseason preparing for what he hopes is a championship run with the Lakers this season. AD is still a go for the 2020 Olympics and he'll be at training camp to support his teammates, but he won't be on the court with them. At least he's well-versed in that move from his days with the Pelicans.

    Source: Yahoo Sports