2018 Free Agency
Reports: Udonis Haslem agrees to one-year deal with Miami Heat
From NBA Twitter and media reports
The Miami Heat have reportedly made sure that Udonis Haslem doesn’t play anywhere else for his 16th NBA season.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (via Twitter) and Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, the Heat and Haslem have agreed on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal that will keep Haslem with the Heat.
Sources: Udonis Haslem reached agreement on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal to return to the Miami Heat for his 16th NBA season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 6, 2018
Here’s more from Reynolds on the reported pact between the sides:
A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Haslem and the Heat have agreed on a one-year, $2.4 million contract that will keep him with his hometown team for a 16th season. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been signed, though that last detail is now merely a formality.
“When players come in and we talk to them about what it means to be a Miami Heat player, we point them at Udonis Haslem,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said earlier this offseason.
Haslem is one of the team’s captains, and he and Dwyane Wade are the only two players to appear on all three of Miami’s NBA champion teams. Haslem becomes the 19th player under contract going into training camp, one shy of the preseason maximum — and the Heat are waiting to see if Wade will take that last available spot.
Heat president Pat Riley said in mid-August that the team and Haslem were moving toward an agreement on a contract.
Haslem’s role for Miami has steadily diminished over the last three seasons and in 2017-18, he logged career lows in minutes (5.1 per game), points (0.6), rebounds (0.7) and field goal percentage (20.0).
But his voice in the locker room is vital. The 38-year-old Miami native remains one of the team’s captains, and it’s not uncommon for him to mentor teammates on the bench during games or raise his voice at halftime — even before coaches enter the room — when things are not going to his liking.
“UD is always the guy who sets the standard for teammates,” Heat point guard Goran Dragic said.
Undrafted in 2002, Haslem spent his first pro season in France before signing with the Heat as a free agent in 2003. He is Miami’s career leader in rebounds with 5,711, and has appeared in 844 regular-season games — 33 shy of Wade’s record. He’s also seventh on the Heat scoring list (6,486 career points).
Among active players, only the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and the San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili have spent the entirety of a career spanning at least 15 years with one franchise. Former Spurs guard Tony Parker had also logged at least 15 years with the team, but left San Antonio this summer in free agency to sign with the Charlotte Hornets.
Haslem has played with 126 different Heat teammates, not even counting those players who were signed for training camps and never actually appeared in a regular-season or playoff game. His return for a 16th year means that he’s now been with the franchise for more than half its history; the Heat had played 15 seasons before he signed with them in 2003.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.