Beno Udrih reveals why he accepted buyout from Miami Heat last season

Beno Udrih #19 of the Miami Heat drives on Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs during a game at American Airlines Arena on February 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Beno Udrih #19 of the Miami Heat drives on Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs during a game at American Airlines Arena on February 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

NASSAU, Bahamas — Beno Udrih did the Heat a favor last season.

After suffering a season-ending foot injury that required surgery, Udrih accepted a contract buyout from the Heat in February to keep Miami from paying the luxury tax after Joe Johnson was signed. Udrih gave up a portion of his $2.17 million contract to accept the buyout and seemingly had little incentive to accept the buyout, outside of helping the Heat with their tax situation.

The point guard revealed the backstory of the buyout after Wednesday morning’s practice.

“They Heat approached me,” Udrih said to the Palm Beach Post. “But before they approached me, I had a feeling that was going to (happen) because I knew what position they were in and I was part of the Heat. I’m a loyal guy and I believe in karma — bad or good. And I was loyal. I was just trying to help my team at that time and the only way after my injury for me to help was taking the buyout. That’s what I did so they could bring a couple of other guys in.”

As a free agent this summer, many expected the Heat to return the favor and sign him. And although the 34-year-old Udrih did end up back in Miami, he explored outside options.

After the Hassan Whiteside and Dwyane Wade free-agent situations played out, the Heat offered Udrih a contract worth a little more than the veteran’s minimum in mid-July. But Udrih said he didn’t take it because he wanted to look at offers from other teams.

By the time Miami came back and made Udrih another offer, it only had the veteran’s minimum to give him. Udrih took it and signed a guaranteed deal worth about $1.5 million to return to the Heat in August.

Udrih received other offers for more years, but non-guaranteed. In the end, he was looking for guaranteed money and the Heat gave it to him.

“They like my work ethic and I have a winning mentality and this is what this organization is all about,” Udrih said of the Heat. “There are a lot of changes going on from last year and they wanted to have another veteran on the team. I thought that was going to be a good situation for me. In a couple years, four or five years, I want to be a coach, too. This is a great organization learn from about that.”

Udrih is competing with 23-year-old Briante Weber to be Goran Dragic’s backup at point guard. Udrih averaged 4.4 points on 43.4 percent shooting to go with 2.5 assists in 36 games with the Heat last season after he was acquired from the Grizzlies in a November trade.

Udrih is believed to have a slight edge over Weber because of his guaranteed contract. Weber is one of five current Heat players on a non-guaranteed contract.

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