Heat Notes: Highsmith, Jovic, Bam, Mailbag, Offseason

Three-and-D wing Haywood Highsmith will be one of the Heat‘s key unrestricted free agents this summer after averaging 6.1 PPG and 3.2 RPG while shooting 39.6% from deep in 66 regular season games (20.7 MPG),

Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the 27-year-old said that – in an ideal world – he’d like to re-sign with the Heat. That outcome is far from certain though, as Miami projects to have one of the league’s highest payrolls in 2024/25.

I’d love to stay in Miami for sure,” Highsmith told Scotto. “I feel like I’ve built a great life out here. My daughter lives out here as well. If all things are close, I definitely would love to stay in Miami, but we’ll see when that time comes. I’ll still be the same person no matter how much I get paid or whatever happens. I’ll still be in the gym locked in and trying to win a championship.”

Highsmith also touched on his atypical career journey, the team’s culture, and playing for head coach Erik Spoelstra, among other subjects. As far as individual goals, Highsmith said he’d like to earn some hardware in the future.

I definitely want to be on the All-Defensive Team or a Defensive Player of the Year candidate,” he said. “I think I have the ability to do something like that.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • No player on the Miami’s roster showed more progress in ’23/24 than second-year forward Nikola Jovic, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. After appearing in just four of the team’s first 30 games, Jovic started all 32 games he appeared in down the stretch (including the playoffs), impressing his teammates and coach in the process. “He’s 20. So I always do need to remind myself of that,” Spoelstra said. “I hold him to an incredibly high standard because our standards are not going to change. Our expectations are always going to be championship-level expectations. Yes, I’m expecting him to rise to that. Is he there now? No. Am I going to stop driving him and pushing him? No. But I’ve been very encouraged by the progress that he’s made, in particular in the last 12 months.”
  • Although he finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting and made the All-Defensive First Team for the first time, Bam Adebayo only appeared on five All-NBA ballots. As Chiang writes (subscriber link), that means Adebayo won’t be eligible for a super-max extension this summer, but he could still become eligible in 2025 if he makes an All-NBA team or wins DPOY next season.
  • In a mailbag article, Chiang considers whether Purdue center Zach Edey could be a fit for the Heat with the 15th pick (probably not). He also answers questions about what the team needs to improve on this offseason and what certain players might do with their impending options.
  • Cap expert Yossi Gozlan explores the Heat’s offseason, including whether they have the financial flexibility to try and trade for a third star like Donovan Mitchell (YouTube link).
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