That means the Heat and team president Pat Riley are looking at what amounts to an all-or-nothing situation hinging solely on what LeBron decides to do this month. If he ultimately returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a max-level deal, Bosh will also leave to join an increasingly dangerous Rockets team in the Western Conference.
Pieces in play
Bosh is free agency's quiet game-changer
A player of Chris Bosh's ability should command big money and tons of attention in free agency, yet the rumor mill has been largely silent. Where he goes will have a huge impact.
Pieces in play
What Miami would do from there seems unclear, but it would presumably use its ample cap space to re-sign Dwyane Wade and fill out the remainder of the roster with new pieces. Obviously, it's an ugly option in comparison to bringing back the Big 3 for another run at dynasty status.
So the Heat are surely crossing their fingers that James doesn't leave, even if that's looking increasingly unlikely, while the Rockets will hope otherwise. Adding Bosh to a core that already features Dwight Howard and James Harden would quickly make Houston one of the most talented teams in the league and an immediate title contender.
That decision from LeBron will need to come soon if the Rockets want to land Bosh and keep Chandler Parsons, however. After Parsons and the Mavericks signed an offer sheet on Wednesday, Houston only has three days to decide whether to match that offer.
If the Rockets do match and retain Parsons, they won't have the cap space to give Bosh his max deal. They can match the deal using Bird rights if Bosh signs beforehand, though, so they're likely hoping for a quick resolution as much as anyone.