Miami Heat owner Micky Arison steals the thunder from any reporter to be the first to break the news that Udonis Haslem will return to the Miami Heat...we think.
His tweet was simply this:
Haslem has been a part of the Miami Heat franchise for 14 seasons, going undrafted in 2003, he signed with the Heat and began the same year with Dwyane Wade. Haslem has been with the team ever since.
At least twice that we know of, Haslem has taken significant pay cuts to stay loyal to the Heat. And in 2010, Wade convinced LeBron James and Chris Bosh to take slightly less than the max to retain Haslem. In return, Miami paid him nicely to be a reserve player in the past few years.
Haslem was the starting power forward on the 2006 NBA Champion team, and was a key reserve in both championship runs in 2012, and 2013.
But the last few years Haslem has played sparingly. He claims he can still contribute, but Miami has not used him consistently.
And that trend likely won’t change. With a depth chart ahead of looking like this: Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, and Bam Adebayo — it seems likely Haslem will be used in case of emergency only.
And that’s OK. Because he is the team captain and the heart and soul of the locker room.
UPDATE: Haslem has signed for the veteran’s minimum.
Free agent Udonis Haslem has signed a one-year, minimum deal to return to the Miami Heat, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 20, 2017