Chris Bosh Says He Wants to Remain with Miami Heat, Willing to Take Pay Cut

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 28, 2014

Miami Heat center Chris Bosh smiles during a post-game news conference after Game 4 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoff series, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Miami. The Heat won 102-90. Bosh had 25 points. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

For the past four seasons, Chris Bosh has been living the sweet life with the Miami Heat, and he knows it.

He could opt out of his current contract and go searching for greener grass this summer, but why bother? What good is green grass compared to the white sands of South Beach?

For Bosh, there is no decision to be made about his future. He's already where he wants to be.

"Yeah, I mean, I don’t want to go anywhere," Bosh said during an appearance on ESPN Radio's The Dan LeBatard Show, via Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. "I like it here. It’s Miami. Everybody wants to come here."

It makes no sense to search for an ideal home when he's already living in one.

The free-agent market could be good to Bosh. The 30-year-old is a nine-time All-Star and still well within his prime. He's an efficient offensive force (16.2 points on 51.6-percent shooting this season), with the addition of a three-point shot (33.9 percent) making him a viable scoring threat from anywhere on the floor.

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Teams would pay top dollar for his talent, but the Heat may need to be more cautious with their funds. Both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade can opt out of their current contracts as well. Reserve point guard Norris Cole is Miami's only player with a guaranteed contract for 2014-15, via ShamSports.com.

The Heat could conceivably offer Bosh less than market value to stick around. He said he'd be willing to take such a pay cut "if that's what it takes."

No team can offer what Miami has already given him.

On the court, that means suiting up for a historically steady title contender. The Heat are one win away from making their fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance, a feat unseen in this league since the Boston Celtics did it between 1984-87.

Bosh knows as well as anyone that finding success like this is hardly a guarantee. He spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Toronto Raptors, making just two playoff appearances during that time and never winning a postseason series.

To the untrained eye, the big man is expendable. People look at his declining returns on the stat sheet (17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds over four seasons with the Heat, 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds with the Raptors) and wonder if he's lost a step.

What has actually transpired, though, is Bosh's complete commitment to what Miami is trying to accomplish. He's sacrificed stats in pursuit of wins, a process that has already paid off in the form of two championship rings.

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 2: Dwyane Wade #3, LeBron James #6, and Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat stand during the national anthem before the game against the Golden State Warriors at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Jan. 23, 2014. NOTE TO USER:
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

"We’ve said it all along, that he is arguably our most important player, and he’s had to change his game for our good as much as anybody," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, via Grantland's Kirk Goldsberry.

Bosh found the perfect situation in 2010. There's no need to keep looking.

That's why he can openly pledge his allegiance to this franchise, just as he did back in March. While this shouldn't be construed as an official decision, he didn't have to voice this commitment.

"Bosh easily could have deferred in some way, by saying it was too early to tell or by simply refusing to answer," NBCSports.com's Brett Pollakoff noted in March. "The fact that he was willing to play along can be taken as a positive sign for Miami’s future, if nothing else."

Players enter free agency in hopes of finding what Bosh has already found.

With two future Hall of Famers by his side, plus championships and sandy beaches always within reach, he is living the NBA dream. The last thing he'd want to do is pinch himself and wake up.


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