In 13 NBA seasons, Chris Bosh was able to establish himself as one of the best frontcourt players in the game.
Averaging 20.2 points and 9.4 boards in 37.0 minutes per game for the Toronto Raptors in his first seven seasons and then 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in 34.2 minutes per contest in the next six seasons for the Miami Heat, Bosh's career was cut short in the 2015-2016 season due to a serious blood clotting issue.
As a result, the 33-year-old star hasn't stepped back on the court since. Despite the fact that the 11-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion might still make the Hall of Fame based on his current resume, there will always remain a huge "what if" when it comes to evaluating his career.
What if he stayed healthy?
In a recent feature by Jackie Macmullen of ESPN, Bosh revealed that life after basketball has been exceptionally tough for him. He also made it clear that he intends on returning to the court someday, even if it looks like the odds are not in his favor.
MacMullen wrote, "ESPN contacted four general managers to gauge their interest in Bosh. All four said if Bosh was given a clean bill of health, there would be a clamor to sign him. But as one GM explains, 'If he was healthy, he'd be playing for the Miami Heat right now. The fact they determined it was not an option makes me say we're not going there.'"
Bosh, who has reportedly been training regularly and staying in great shape, believes that he still can play at the NBA level. Therefore, he wants a chance.
"I'm going to give [playing] one more shot,'' he said. "That's all it is -- a shot."
In November, he told NBA TV that he wasn't ready to retire as a player. But, he did mention a few non-playing roles when thinking about his future.
"I'm always going to be around the game of basketball," Bosh said at the time. "I plan to keep my options open as a player moving forward, but that's not coaching. Maybe front office work, working with teams and spreading the game, maybe teaching the game to young people, that's something that's a very big passion."
"I would want to work with guys that maybe aren't starters, guys that are the fourth or fifth option," Bosh added. "To be honest, I'm looking at today’s game and I put myself in that position and how I would benefit from the faster basketball, more threes, catch-and-go opportunities, attacking the paint with more space, that's what kind of gets me juiced up and riled up when I watch today's game. I would really want to teach someone how to function without having to have plays called for you."
Since Bosh reveled a finessed, perimeter-oriented style of play towards the end of his time in Miami, it seems as though his game would be a natural fit into the current-day style of play that has been evident across the league. But, if he's unable to return as a player, he'd most likely be able to make an impact as a coach, like he mentioned above.
Bosh and the Heat came to an agreement to mutually part ways in May of 2017, but the Heat are still responsible to pay him $52 million over this season and next. Although that's mostly covered by insurance, if he were to return and play more than 25 games for another team, his salary cap hit would reportedly return to the Heat's books and they would incur luxury tax penalties if the number was high enough, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
If Bosh is able to get in front of some teams in the offseason, he will likely find an opportunity somewhere if he shows a glimpse of his old self. Although the team's doctors would have to clear him and the organization would have to be comfortable with his blood clotting risk, it would be a pleasant sight to see Bosh return to form and eventually retire under his own terms.