After not landing an NBA job until January of this season, Chris Andersen has become a crucial piece of a Heat team that has posted a 42-4 record since adding him to the roster. If it's up to him, his stay in Miami will extend beyond this season, as agent Mark Bryant told Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link).
"We’re certainly hopeful," Bryant said of the possibility of Andersen re-signing with the Heat. "But he’s going to finish this task first (of trying to win a title with Miami). But, absolutely, he has embraced (being with the Heat)."
Andersen is in his first year with the Heat, which means, somewhat ironically, that the Birdman only has Non-Bird rights. Because he's on a minimum-salary contract with Miami, the team's ability to offer him a raise next year is limited. The Heat could elect to use all or some of its mid-level exception, which will have a starting salary of $3.183MM, on Andersen, but the club figures to explore outside options as well with that exception.
Given the Heat's recent success, there will likely be several veteran players interested in that mid-level exception in free agency this summer. Earlier this week, we heard that Samuel Dalembert, whose Bucks are currently facing the Heat in the playoffs, has interest in signing with Miami for next season.