Despite being repeatedly vocal about his interest to remain a member of the Miami Heat, reports have surfaced indicating that the Houston Rockets have taken a profound interest in Chris Bosh and have discussed giving him a maximum deal for his services.
It was ESPN who first reported the Rocket's plans to pursue Bosh, using the terminology "Heavily Engaged" to describe their free agency talks. They went into more detail saying:
Sources close to the process told ESPN.com on Sunday that the Rockets -- though they haven't been formally told they are no longer in the running for top free-agent target Carmelo Anthony -- have intensified their pursuit of Bosh over the weekend in the hope that LeBron James will seriously consider leaving the Heat.
It is widely assumed throughout the league that Bosh will only be willing to leave Miami if James leaves first, after Bosh said numerous times during the season that he intended to stay with the Heat, even if it required taking a pay cut from last season's $19 million salary. So Miami remains the favorite to sign him. Yet as ESPN.com first reported Thursday, Houston has been plotting to shift its focus to trying to swipe Bosh from the Heat and convince the Texas native to return to his home state as soon as the Rockets felt like Anthony was out of reach.
Sources say Bosh remains willing to take slightly less than his value on the open market to return with the Heat if James and Dwyane Wade are also coming back and if Heat president Pat Riley can upgrade the current roster. But nearly a week into free agency -- with James' agent Rich Paul having opened negotiations with a handful of rival teams and Riley having secured no free-agent commitments -- sources say Bosh has felt compelled to consider other options himself.
Of course as aforementioned in the quote, it has been said that Chris Bosh would only be interested in leaving the Miami Heat if LeBron left first, but say he did leave Miami without James leaving, it would actually put Miami in an interesting predicament.
To say Chris Bosh has been a spectacular member of the Miami Heat would be an overstatement. Despite, coming up big in key situations, Chris Bosh's transition into a different style of play (less banging down low, more outside shooting) has actually hurt him statistically. This season Chris Bosh averaged his lowest ppg average in his time with the Miami Heat, scoring 16.2 point per game, while respectable it is not "superstar" caliber play.
While transforming his play into a more guard like style, Bosh also digressed in rebounding, grabbing just 6.6 boards per game this year (his lowest of the big three era). While he succeeded in dramatically improving his three point percentage (.284 to .339) his absence in the low post and in the paint proved detrimental to Miami's success. That's not to say Bosh''s play wasn't beneficial, he's a great role player and an extremely reliable guy (see Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals) but right now I don't see him as a player that demands a maximum contract.
Regardless, say Chris Bosh decided to bolt for Houston and the max contract, he would open up a lot of possibilities for the Heat. Stephen A Smith, spoke about it on First Take this morning and explained that if Chris Bosh left and Miami was left with Wade and James, then a Carmelo deal or a big free agent signing could be very possible.
Pardon the video quality:
Houston, under the new CBA could offer Bosh a four year $96 million dollar deal which would be tempting to any basketball player. Keep in mind that by staying in Miami, Bosh would be re-negotiating for significantly less money. Chris Bosh is not Tim Duncan, he's not going to play until 38 years old, and so that leaves him in an interesting situation, does he stay in the comfortability of Miami or grab likely his last big NBA payday with Houston.
Time will of course tell, and the slow pace of this free agency is eating away at everybody, so with that being said continue to take rumours with a grain of salt.
Bottom line: There is still a huge possibility, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and of course LeBron James go nowhere.