Nov 12, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) reacts against the Houston Rockets in the second quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets Offer Chris Bosh A Max Deal

The prospect of playing with LeBron James and staying with the Miami Heat just got a little bit dicier.

According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Houston Rockets have officially upped their offer to unrestricted free agent Chris Bosh, offering him a four-year, $96 million deal.

Although the Rockets were originally holding out for Carmelo Anthony, it appears Melo’s decision has been narrowed down to the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. With Melo potentially out of the picture, Houston is now trying to grab the most valuable stretch-4 left on the market. Bosh averaged 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game in a tertiary role with the Heat this past season.

A two-time NBA champion, Bosh knows better than most what it means to be a team player. Accepting a diminished role in order to be a part of a championship contender is something most max-level guys wouldn’t do, but even though Bosh has now officially commanded such a deal on the open market, it may be even harder for him to turn down that kind of money.

If LeBron James had fully committed to returning to the Miami Heat, this might be a different story. There’s still the chance LeBron decides to keep his talents in South Beach, which would undoubtedly sway Bosh to return to the team that’s appeared in four consecutive NBA Finals. But given LeBron’s indecisiveness to this point, it wouldn’t surprise many if Bosh decided to head back to his home state and play for the Rockets.

In Houston, Bosh would provide a considerable upgrade at the power forward position as a stretch-4. After adding a three-point shot to his arsenal this season, Bosh could stretch the floor and contribute to Houston’s already dynamic long range game. Bosh wouldn’t have to worry about defending the league’s stronger, taller bigs with Dwight Howard protecting the paint and he’d be able to play a similar role on a championship contender with Howard, James Harden and (hopefully) Chandler Parsons.

In Houston, Bosh’s role one the court would probably still be slightly diminished, but at least this way he’d still be getting paid like a max player. The Heat lowballing Bosh, and a less-than-optimistic feeling following a conversation with LeBron James over the weekend, have left Bosh feeling unvalued, according to Broussard’s report. The Rockets would still need to trade Jeremy Lin in order to make the salaries work, but Houston has been saying they have trades lined up for such a scenario.

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