When considering just how much cap space the Phoenix Suns had available to them as free agency began, there was some expectation that they would be big players in the market.
But outside of their interest in LeBron James — and there’s no telling if it was at all reciprocated — they have appeared to be fairly quiet.
But other than James, they haven’t really been linked to any of the summer’s top free agents.
Until now, albeit after the fact. According to ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh, the Suns were in on Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, who many thought was going to leave South Beach if LeBron James chose not to return. James did indeed leave, but Bosh decided to stick around.
Moments after receiving James’ text, the Heat offered Bosh a maximum contract worth $118 million over five years, something that wasn’t on the table at the start of free agency. The Heat had competition. After considering “strong” offers from multiple teams, including the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, Bosh ultimately decided to return to the Heat later that night.
What exactly a “strong” offer is is unknown, though it’s likely Phoenix was offering the maximum they could have, which would have been $88 million over four years.
Bosh, 30, is coming off a season in which he averaged 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and one block per game. Originally selected with the fourth pick in the 2003 draft by the Toronto Raptors, the forward developed into a star but appeared to sacrifice some of his game to fit with Miami’s Big Three.
Bosh averaged more than 22 points in each of his last five seasons with the Raptors, peaking at 24 in 2009-10, when he also grabbed 10.8 rebounds per game.
His scoring output has decreased in each of his first four seasons with the Heat, though with James gone and Dwayne Wade battling injuries, it’s possible the team will turn to Bosh as its main option and the numbers will return to his pre-Heat days.