The Miami Heat have 13 players under contract and are capped out. But at least one move remains.
The Captain, Udonis Haslem, remains unsigned. The Heat rewarded Haslem was a one-year deal for $4 million a year ago and he has been as loyal to the franchise as any player in its history. Which brings us to today’s mailbag questions. If we didn’t get to your question today we will in a future mailbag. If you weren’t able to ask a question, send them for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44).
From @_SwaggyD305: when are the HEAT gonna re-sign Haslem?
Haslem’s son recently posted a picture of his father in a Cavaliers uniform and from all indications it was the ultimate troll. There is no indication that Haslem is going anywhere else and he is still expected to re-sign with Miami for the veteran minimum of $2.3 million.
The best indication that the 6-foot-8 forward will return for a 15th season came from Pat Riley on Monday. Riley was asked if the Heat plan on using their $4.3 million exception now.
“Once we come to terms with Udonis, we’ll have 14 players on the roster and then we’re just going to sit tight,” he said.
Because it is capped out the Heat have zero wiggle room on his contract. Miami can offer him the veteran minimum – which is all he would get anywhere else – or the exception, which it will not (and should not) do.
The only thing that would prevent this from happening is if Haslem wants to chase a ring.
From @melo_hater: Why do the heat and their fans want haslem back so much when he hasnt been a useful player in 4 years? Why not just make him a coach?
Haslem’s value to the Heat goes way beyond his 1.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in just 16 games last season. When you look up ‘Heat Lifer’ in the dictionary, you will find Haslem’s picture. Nobody has worn the uniform longer. And while at 37 he’s not the player he once was, Haslem’s contributions have been invaluable even as his playing time drops.
If the rosters were at 12 or 13 players, carrying a player like Haslem would be a burden. But with 15 players – 13 active for each game – the Heat believe there is room for Haslem. He is the closest thing to a player/coach, maybe in the league, but he remains a player, which carries a lot of weight with the rest of the rosters. Having someone the younger players still can call a peer who has so much experience and willingly takes on the role of a mentor is a great help to the coaches.
Liston to what Riley said about Haslem about a week after the season ended.
“We have 15 roster spots and I hope that Udonis fills one of them without a doubt. He’s invaluable in so many aspects on the court, off the court.”
From @Gzay305: will rondo and the heat make sense
From @ConnerElsass: any news on the heat trying to sign a SF or PG? If so who and what’s the best options?
These questions deal with the mid-level exception and rather repeat myself, Anthony did an excellent job writing about how Heat are handling the MLE and possible candidates. Read his post here.