JULY 2: The Heat have formally announced Bryant’s deal with the team, issuing a press release to confirm that it’s official.
It’ll be a minimum-salary contract with a second-year player option, according to Wojnarowski. The first-year cap hit will be about $2.53MM, then Bryant will make a decision on a $2.85MM salary for 2024/25.
Bryant, who will turn 26 later this month, signed with the Lakers in free agency a year ago after returning from an Achilles tear that limited him to 37 total games for the Wizards in the prior two seasons. He played well in Los Angeles, averaging 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 41 games, including 25 starts. However, when his rotation role was cut back, he reportedly sought a change of scenery.
The Lakers acquiesced, sending him to the Nuggets in a trade-deadline deal. Bryant didn’t end up playing much in Denver either, averaging just 11.4 MPG in 18 appearances down the stretch, but he got to part of the team’s championship run this spring.
In Miami, Bryant figures to get an opportunity to play rotation minutes behind Bam Adebayo at center, with centers Cody Zeller and Omer Yurtseven both on the open market and seemingly unlikely to return. The Heat’s newest center will bring some floor-stretching ability, having made 36.6% of his career three-pointers.
A strong season would put Bryant in position to opt out and return to free agency a year from now.