Heat waive Chris Bosh after he missed entire 2016-17 season with illness

The Miami Heat officially waived 11-time All-Star power forward Chris Bosh, the team announced on Monday. Bosh missed the entire 2016-17 season after NBA doctors ruled him medically ineligible to play basketball due to recurring bouts with blood clots.

In a post on Instagram, Heat president Pat Riley announced the team will not issue No. 1 again, and that the jersey number will eventually be retired in Miami.

“Chris changed his life and basketball career when he came to Miami,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “And he changed our lives for the better, in a way we never would have imagined, when he joined the Miami HEAT. We will forever be indebted to CB for how he changed this team and led us to four trips to the NBA Finals and two NBA Championships. He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise. The number “1” will never be worn by another player and we can’t wait to someday hang his jersey in the rafters. Today, we are both moving on but we wish Chris, Adrienne and their family nothing but the best. They will forever be part of the Miami HEAT family.”

Bosh was a standout All-Star power forward with the Toronto Raptors before joining the Heat in 2010. There, he became a cog for the championship Miami team that won back-to-back NBA Finals in 2012 and 2013.

But Bosh ran into health complications in 2014, when he endured his first battle with a blood clot in his lungs that cut his season down to only 44 games. In 2015, the All-Star forward played in 53 games before another blood clot was discovered in his leg. Bosh ultimately failed his physical exam leading into the 2016-17 season, deeming him ineligible to play.

Bosh becomes an unrestricted free agent and can ultimately sign with one of 29 NBA teams, not named the Heat. But he will first have to prove he is healthy to the same panel of NBA doctors that ruled his illness career-ending.

What’s next for Miami?

The two-year, $52 million balance of Bosh’s contract immediately comes off the Heat payroll. Miami now projects to have around $37 million in cap space, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, which the team could use to re-sign free agents Dion Waiters and James Johnson — assuming Gordon Hayward isn’t coming.

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