Udonis Haslem

Heat Notes: Crowder, Days, Offseason, Haslem

Veteran forward Jae Crowder would welcome a return to the Heat, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. However, even though the Suns are said to be exploring Crowder’s trade market, a deal that sends him from Phoenix to Miami will be tricky to work out.

As Jackson writes, the Suns probably have zero interest in taking on Duncan Robinson‘s pricey long-term contract, and any other players the Heat could realistically use as salary-matching pieces in a Crowder trade aren’t eligible to be dealt until December or January. On top of that, Jackson would be surprised if Miami is willing to give up a future first-round pick to acquire Crowder, a 32-year-old on an expiring contract.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • The Spurs were surprised when Darius Days signed a two-way contract with the Heat, according to Jackson, who says San Antonio had hoped to bring Days to training camp and have him compete for a two-way spot. One other team besides the Spurs offered Days a two-way deal, but the undrafted rookie out of LSU chose the Heat in part due to their track record of developing young talent, Jackson explains.
  • In another story for The Miami Herald, Jackson revisits the Heat’s offseason moves – including their decision not to go into the tax or to impose a hard cap on themselves – and wonders if it might’ve made sense for the team to offer its bi-annual exception to T.J. Warren to address its hole at power forward. Warren ended up signing a minimum-salary contract with Brooklyn.
  • Longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem believes he’s “very qualified” to be part of the franchise’s ownership group and has already started talking to team executives about eventually getting a stake in the Heat, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “It will continue to rev up,” Haslem said of those discussions. “I’m going to continue to have them. I’m very ambitious and I’ve been creating a lot of the communication. But they’ve been receptive.” Haslem added that he wants to “learn everything from ticket sales to marketing” and be the sort of owner who brings value to the club.
  • In a separate article for The Herald, Chiang examines five preseason questions facing the Heat, including whether Tyler Herro will sign a rookie scale extension by the October 17 deadline and whether Kyle Lowry can set himself up for a strong second season in Miami.

Heat Notes: Morris, PF Options, Herro, Haslem

The departure of Markieff Morris, who agreed to a deal with the Nets on Tuesday, means the Heat‘s revolving door at power forward will continue, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Morris and P.J. Tucker, who were free agent additions last summer, both signed elsewhere during the offseason. Winderman notes that Miami has been through eight power forwards since Bam Adebayo became the starting center in 2019/20.

Morris’ departure was virtually assured when Udonis Haslem announced last week that he was returning for a 20th season, Winderman adds. Miami will keep one roster spot open due to luxury tax concerns, so there was no room for Morris once fellow free agents Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo and Dewayne Dedmon all reached new deals.

Martin, who is expected to replace Tucker as the starting power forward, re-signed with Miami for its full taxpayer mid-level exception and will receive $20.4MM over the next three years. He was reportedly about to get a better offer from a rival team, but he preferred to remain with the Heat. Winderman points out that if Tucker had taken the MLE, Miami’s starting point on a new deal with Martin would have been limited to the $4.1MM bi-annual exception.

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic and Atlanta’s John Collins are players to watch if the Heat decide to trade for a power forward, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Jazz haven’t expressed a desire to part with Bogdanovic, but he has a $19.5MM expiring contract and could become expendable if Utah commits to rebuilding. The Hawks have explored the trade market for Collins, but he has an expensive contract that pays him more than $75MM over the next three seasons, along with a $26.6MM player option for 2025/26. Jackson doesn’t believe Miami should give up a first-round pick for either player.
  • The Knicks’ extension agreement with RJ Barrett is likely to be similar to what the Heat offer Tyler Herro if he’s not traded, Winderman adds in a separate piece. Herro is eligible for a five-year max extension worth up to $188MM, but Winderman expects his final deal to be more in line with Barrett, whose four-year deal can be worth up to $120MM if he earns several bonuses.
  • Suns star Chris Paul supports Haslem’s decision to play another season, per Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report. “You all saw that stuff with Udonis Haslem? Y’all heard everyone talking crazy about him like, ‘Why he on the team? Why he on the team?’ Man, I’m probably his biggest fan,” Paul said to a group of high school players in Los Angeles (video link). “You want to know why? Because young guys need vets. They need somebody like UD showing up every day, if practice at 11:00, he’s probably at the gym at 8:30 every day. To motivate guys. To push guys.”

Udonis Haslem Re-Signs With Heat For 20th, Final Season

AUGUST 23: The Heat have officially re-signed Haslem, the team announced today in a press release.

“From the first day that I saw him compete, to the last day when we retire his jersey at our FTX home, UD will go down in our team’s history as one of the best to ever play for the Miami HEAT,” team president Pat Riley said in a statement.

AUGUST 21: Veteran Heat power forward Udonis Haslem announced on Sunday at his Miami-based youth basketball camp that he will return for a 20th and final NBA season with the club, reports Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Earlier this week, Haslem had indicated he would reveal his decision on his playing future at the camp.

“Got one more in me for Pop,” Haslem said, referencing his late father, as Reynolds tweets. “Got one more in me for the city. Got one more in me for the team.” 

Per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald (via Twitter), the 6’8″ big man out of Florida is set to retire from the league following the 2022/23 season. “One more year,” Haslem said.

Chiang adds (Twitter link) that Haslem’s father, who passed away last August, had long hoped his son would suit up for 20 NBA seasons.

After four productive collegiate seasons with the Gators, Haslem went undrafted in 2002. He headed overseas for his first professional basketball experience, joining French club Chalon-Sur-Saône during the 2002/03 season. Haslem joined Miami for the ’03/04 campaign, with his play netting him a spot on the 2004 All-Rookie Second Team.

Only eight players in league history have played for 20 seasons or more. Haslem will join his former Heat teammate, current Lakers All-Star forward LeBron James, as the ninth and tenth such players to reach that benchmark. Additionally, Haslem will become just the third player ever to suit up for just one team for 20 seasons, joining Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki.

Haslem has long since transitioned from being a key rotation player with Miami to taking on a far more limited role. The 42-year-old has appeared in just 58 regular season contests since the start of 2016/17, serving as more of a valuable locker room voice and practice player. Last year, Haslem played 13 times in the regular season, averaging 2.5 PPG and 1.9 RPG in 6.4 MPG. He hasn’t appeared in a playoff game since 2016.

For his career, Haslem boasts averages of 7.5 PPG, on 48.9% shooting, and 6.6 RPG. He was a crucial role player on five Miami teams that made the Finals between 2006-14, winning championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013. In his current role as essentially a player-coach, Haslem helped guide the Heat to another Finals appearance, his sixth with the team, in 2020.

By latching on with Miami for a veteran’s minimum contract, Haslem will be the 14th player signed to the team’s standard 15-man roster. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel tweets that the addition of Haslem will put Miami just $200K beneath this season’s $150,267,000 luxury tax line.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN adds (via Twitter), the Heat will probably leave their final 15-man roster spot unfilled to avoid the tax, unless they can cut costs elsewhere. They’ll be able to sign a 15th man late in the season when the prorated minimum salary dips below $200K.

Eastern Notes: Mitchell, Knicks, Toppin, Durant, Haslem, Pistons

On the heels of a report from The Athletic regarding a recent Knicks trade proposal for Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Utah is seeking four unprotected picks.

The Knicks’ offer was said to include Evan FournierObi Toppin, five first-round picks and “additional salary.” In that proposal, two of the five first-round picks the Knicks offered were unprotected.

All the extra first-rounders the team has acquired from other clubs have some form of protections on them, so the Jazz are apparently seeking four of New York’s own future picks.

That would be a tough pill for New York to swallow, since it would be difficult to make another significant trade and become a championship contender. The stalemate in the trade discussions is centered around the unprotected picks, rather than the mix of players, according to Berman.

New York is willing to deal Toppin in part because small ball lineups with Toppin and Julius Randle are unappealing to the organization, Berman adds.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Though Kevin Durant hasn’t backed down from his trade demand, the Nets have not yet lowered their asking price, Marc Stein reports in a Substack post. The organization believes there’s still time for Durant to soften his stance and remain with the franchise. They also want to see if Durant will report to training camp on time or if he’ll try to make things more uncomfortable and force the organization’s hand.
  • Udonis Haslem has decided to continue his playing career because he’s a “bearer of Heat culture,” Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. Haslem said in part, “I’m sacrificing for the next generation. You know, I’m the bearer of Heat culture, I take it serious. It’s not a game. It’s not a joke. … I’ve watched the culture save so many, like it saved me.”
  • Longtime NBA player and current ESPN broadcaster Jalen Rose feels the combination of Cade Cunningham and rookie Jaden Ivey will spark the Pistons’ revival, according to a video post from The Detroit News’ Mike Curtis. “I think we now have another All-Star backcourt. … I’m really excited about the potential of our team,” said Rose, a Michigan native.

LeBron James, Udonis Haslem Set To Join NBA’s 20-Season Club

The list of NBA veterans who have played 20 or more seasons in the league will grow by at least two this year, as Lakers star LeBron James and Heat big man Udonis Haslem are set to become the ninth and 10th players to spend at least two decades on NBA rosters.

The players already in the NBA’s 20-season club are as follows:

While James and the majority of the other players on the above list spent time with multiple teams over the course of their lengthy NBA careers, Haslem is on track to join an even more exclusive club, having only played for the Heat during his 20 years in the league.

Nowitzki (21 seasons with the Mavericks) and Bryant (20 with the Lakers) are the only two other players to spend at least two decades with a single team. Prior to deciding on Sunday to return for one final season in Miami, Haslem had been tied on that list with Tim Duncan, who spent 19 years with the Spurs, and John Stockton, who spent 19 with the Jazz.

Haslem will also become the first member of the 20-season club who began his NBA career as an undrafted player. In fact, James and the other eight players with 20 seasons under their belts were all lottery picks. Bryant, the No. 13 selection in 1996, was the lowest draft pick of any of those nine players, making Haslem’s accomplishment all the more remarkable.

Although Haslem defied the odds to spend 20 years with a single team after going undrafted, he confirmed on Sunday that he intends to retire after the 2022/23 season, so he won’t move any higher on the list of the NBA’s seasons played leaders. James, on the other hand, has a good chance to match or surpass Carter’s record of 22 years in the league — LeBron is already under contract through 2024/25, which would be his 22nd NBA season.

Finally, it’s worth noting that a third player is in position to join James and Haslem and become the 11th player in the 20-season club in 2022/23. Carmelo Anthony, who also entered the NBA in 2003 and has played for 19 years, remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent, but seems likely to catch on with an NBA team either before opening night or at some point during the season.

Eastern Notes: Barnes, Flynn, Heat, Schedule, Haslem

Young Raptors players Scottie Barnes, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Malachi Flynn, were able to really strut their stuff at a Toronto pro-am game on Saturday, writes Gilbert Ngabo of The Toronto Star. Flynn scored 54 points and Barnes poured in 34 of his own at Mattamy Athletic Centre, during the first pro-am contest in almost three years due to COVID-19-related delays. The Raptors players’ team would ultimately win the contest, 143-131.

Nbago adds that the pair showcased plenty of chemistry and highlight-reel-worthy output. Barnes, a 6’9″ forward out of Florida State, made several athletic dunks and connected on flashy no-look dishes. Though Flynn started off the game slowly, he eventually showed off an excellent shooting stroke as the contest got cooking.

There’s more out of the East:

  • While the Heat’s starting lineup remains a bit in flux, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is fairly confident about who will close games for Miami. In addition to starters Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry, Winderman considers guards Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo likely to round out the team’s closing five.
  • Winderman also goes on to unpack how he anticipates the Heat will allocate minutes. He expects Butler, Adebayo, Lowry, and Herro to be guaranteed to receive major run this season, with Oladipo, Max Strus, and Caleb Martin also likely to receive significant rotation roles. He thinks either Dewayne Dedmon or Omer Yurtseven will crack the rotation as a reserve big man option, and believes the shooting of Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, or Haywood Highsmith on any given night could dictate which of those three wings sees the floor.
  • The NBA is aiming to curb road travel in the hopes of limiting load management for star players. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that, as a consequence, 12 of the Heat‘s 41 home games at FTX Arena will feature pairs of back-to-back contests against the same team, including playoff-level clubs like the Bucks, Raptors, Hawks, Cavaliers and Hornets. Winderman writes that this approach could impede just how much Miami fans will get to see rival teams’ star players, noting that an injury or illness could ultimately mean local fans will miss out on seeing Giannis Antetokounmpo or Trae Young during the regular season. Winderman adds that, in general, the NBA has lowered its travel mileage tally to 41,000 miles per club, 2,000 miles less than the 2021/22 season’s former record low of 43,000.
  • Longtime Heat power forward Udonis Haslem announced earlier today that he will re-sign with Miami for his 20th, and last, NBA season. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes that the three-time champ hopes to join the team’s ownership group, led by Mickey Arison, after he retires. Chiang notes that the Heat are just $200K beneath the league’s luxury tax, and expects the team to field a 14-man standard roster, leaving one roster spot available. By avoiding the luxury tax for the third straight season, the Heat would be working towards avoiding the repeater tax, which penalizes clubs that exceed the luxury tax thrice during a four-season window.

Udonis Haslem To Announce NBA Plans On Sunday

Free agent big man Udonis Haslem, who has spent his entire 19-year NBA career with the Heat, will formally announce his future NBA plans at his youth camp in Miami on Sunday, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (via Twitter).

As Winderman notes, the Heat have given Haslem the option to return for a 20th season — if he’s interested. If he re-signs, Miami would have 14 players with guaranteed contracts on its standard 15-man roster and would be approximately $200K below the luxury tax line of $150,267,000, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

The 42-year-old said on Monday that his NBA future as a player was still up in the air, but evidently he’s either given himself a deadline or has arrived at a decision.

Haslem was a valuable on-court contributor in the earlier portion of his career, starting 52 of Miami’s 66 postseason games during the club’s championship runs in 2006, 2012 and 2013. In 872 regular season games, including 500 starts (24.8 MPG), he holds averages of 7.5 PPG and 6.6 RPG while shooting 48.9% from the floor and 75.6% from the line.

Over the past six seasons, Haslem has primarily served as a veteran mentor and leader, appearing in a total of just 58 games with a modest average of 7.0 MPG. Still, the Heat clearly love his ability to get through to his teammates, which is why they keep giving him an open invitation to return every year despite his limited on-court production.

Udonis Haslem Still Undecided On Re-Signing With Heat

Veteran big man Udonis Haslem, who has been with the Heat since 2003, has yet to make a decision on whether or not he’ll re-sign with the team and play a 20th NBA season, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“I don’t know,” Haslem said on Monday during an appearance at Nova Southeastern University. “We’re thinking about it. But either way, I’m always going to be a part of the Heat family. I ain’t going nowhere, whether I play or not. I’m always going to impact that organization.”

The Heat seemingly made their offseason moves with an eye toward saving a spot for Haslem on the 15-man roster. Currently, the team has 13 players on guaranteed contracts and would be able to sign a 14th (but not a 15th) to a minimum-salary contract without surpassing the luxury tax line. That spot will presumably be Haslem’s if he wants it.

Haslem, who turned 42 in June, has spoken in the past about wanting to make it to a 20th NBA season and indicated on Monday that the two-decade mark was something that he and his father used to talk about. Haslem’s father passed away nearly a year ago.

“I had a lot of things that I had to really, really think about,” Haslem said, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “Twenty years was a conversation that I had with my father. But as he passed, we think about now and things change. He’s not here no more and goals change, my vision has changed a little bit. But it’s still something that I battled with because it’s something that we talked about and it’s something that we wanted to do in a specific way.”

As Winderman observes, Haslem made his decision to re-sign with the Heat for the 2021/22 season on August 15, exactly one year ago. Of course, free agency started in early August in 2021 due to the COVID-related changes to the NBA’s offseason calendar, so Haslem’s deliberations are taking a little longer this time around.

While coaching would seemingly be the next step for a veteran who has long served as a mentor to younger Heat players, Haslem hasn’t shown much interest in formally taking on that sort of role. Instead, he has repeatedly spoken about his desire to get involved in Heat ownership.

“Hopefully one day we talk about ownership and being in that situation where I continue to be somewhat of a leader, but more be a hybrid owner,” Haslem said on Monday, according to Chiang. “An owner that gets out there and does more than just sit on the sideline, cross his legs and watch. I want to work. I want to continue to push the culture and continue to impact the next generation of winning for the Miami Heat.”

Eastern Notes: Haslem, Robinson, Wizards, Pistons, Pacers, Washington

The Heat have a standing offer out to veteran big man Udonis Haslem, which means it’s up to the 42-year-old if he wants to return next season, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel confirms in his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag.

Haslem has played fewer than 20 games in each of his past six seasons, but he plays an immense role in developing the team’s young players. He’s also served as a locker room leader, owning 19 years of NBA experience and winning three championships. He’s previously stated he has no interest in coaching.

Within the same article, Winderman also considered Duncan Robinson‘s status as a trade candidate, suggesting that Miami is unlikely to move Robinson for only a modest upgrade. With Robinson set to make $17MM this season, the Heat would likely need him for salary-matching purposes in order to acquire an impact player, so the club will be patient as it explores the trade market.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

Heat Notes: Adebayo, Haslem, Mitchell, O. Robinson

Heat center Bam Adebayo plans to be more aggressive in looking for shots next season, according to Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Responding to a recent call from team president Pat Riley to take a greater role in the offense, Adebayo appeared on a radio broadcast during a Summer League game and said he’s ready for that challenge.

“They call me ‘No Ceiling’ for a reason,” Adebayo said. “Just being a more efficient scorer. I feel like my shot attempts are going to go up. The guys want the ball in my hands. They want me to score more. My job is really easy this summer.”

Adebayo averaged career highs with 19.1 points and 13 shots per game last season while finishing fourth in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, but Riley believes there’s another level he can reach. The long-time executive wants him to become more consistent in creating his own shots, and Chiang and Jackson note that Adebayo’s shot totals fluctuated wildly during the Eastern Conference Finals.

Adebayo also discussed the Heat’s offseason moves, saying that keeping continuity on the roster will provide the best chance to chase another title.

“It’s mandatory to get back to where we were and have a different result,” Adebayo said. “It haunts you. Because you get that close to something, one shot away and you look at the game, there were so many moments where we could have taken advantage of the game.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Udonis Haslem lashed out at critics who say he doesn’t deserve a roster spot, Chiang and Jackson add in the same story. Haslem, 41, hasn’t played much during the past six seasons, but he claims his work with young players makes it worthwhile to keep him on the team. “People don’t know we have the most undrafted people in the NBA in our team,” Haslem said on Duncan Robinson‘s podcast. “There is something going on here people, but you dumb [expletives] can’t understand. You are so focused on my age and why I’m here. There’s a reason why I’m [expletive] here. Look at Caleb Martin. Caleb Martin just got paid.”
  • Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune confirms that Miami made an offer for Donovan Mitchell that the Jazz considered “insufficient.” The Heat don’t have the draft assets to compete with the Knicks, Larsen notes, with only their 2023, 2027 and 2029 first-rounders available, plus pick swaps in other years. The Jazz and Heat agreed that a third team would likely be needed to get a deal done, according to Larsen.
  • Orlando Robinson was disappointed to be passed over on draft night, but he’s grateful for the opportunity he’s getting with Miami on an Exhibit 10 contract, Chiang writes in a separate story.