Heat Re-Sign Haywood Highsmith

5:25pm: The signing is official, the team tweets.

12:10pm: The Heat have agreed to re-sign free agent forward Haywood Highsmith, agent Jerry Dianis tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Highsmith will receive a two-year, $11MM deal to remain in Miami, per Wojnarowski. The full amount is guaranteed, with no team or player option on the second year, Woj adds (Twitter link).

“We’ve been consistent with Miami with how Haywood felt,” Dianis told Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). “And we felt he wanted to be in Miami. This deal memorializes that.”

Highsmith, who is 6’7″ with a seven-foot wingspan, earned a rotation role in Miami over the last two seasons due primarily due to his defense. However, he has gradually developed into more of a threat on the offensive end, having set new career highs in points per game (6.1), field-goal percentage (46.5%), and three-point percentage (39.6%) while averaging 20.7 minutes per contest across 66 games (26 starts) in 2023/24.

The No. 36 free agent on our top-50 list, Highsmith reportedly drew interest from rival suitors during free agency. According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link), the Bucks and Suns – both of whom were limited to minimum-salary offers – were among the teams pursuing the 27-year-old, with Damian Lillard joining Milwaukee’s recruiting efforts.

However, Highsmith had spoken multiple times in the spring about his desire to remain in Miami. The Heat were limited in their ability to offer much more than the two-year, $11MM contract they put on the table due to their proximity to the second tax apron — and their desire to remain below that apron.

According to cap expert Yossi Gozlan (Twitter link), the club projects to have about $1.5MM in breathing room below the second apron, with 14 players on guaranteed contracts. That suggests, barring additional roster moves, that the 15th roster spot may remain open entering the season.

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