FRIDAY, 3:54pm: The deal is official, the team announced.
“Udonis Haslem has been a fixture in Miami over the last 11 years,” Heat president Pat Riley said in the team’s statement. “He’s a team player, an encompassing all-purpose player, that would play just about any position or role in order to win. It’s been such a privilege and honor to have him with the organization and I’m so happy that he decided to come back.”
TUESDAY, 2:57pm: The Heat and Udonis Haslem have agreed a deal, a source tells Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Miami will use its $2.732MM room exception, Winderman adds, so presumably that will be Haslem’s first-year salary on the deal. The room exception allows for a contract of up to two years, but it’s unclear if Haslem’s getting a second season.
The 34-year-old Miami native had appeared close to a deal in recent days, but there always seemed little chance he would leave the Heat. He winds up with little more than half of the salary he would have made if he had opted in for $4.62MM in June, but he chose to opt out in an apparent attempt to give the Heat a better shot at re-signing LeBron James. That didn’t happen, but Haslem will return as the Heat welcome Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others who were a part of the team during LeBron’s tenure in Miami.
The Heat’s commitment to the client of Henry Thomas, who also represents Wade and Bosh, didn’t waver even as they renounced Haslem’s Bird Rights to clear cap room. Haslem had a reduced role for Miami this past season, averaging 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game, but he made 18 starts in the regular season and six in the playoffs as coach Erik Spoelstra juggled his rotation.