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Miami Heat exercise team option on Justise Winslow for 2018-19 season

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As expected the Miami Heat invested in Winslow for the 2018-19 season.

NBA: Miami Heat-Media Day Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat today announced on twitter,

OFFICIAL: The Miami Heat have exercised their fourth-year team option on Justise Winslow.

and team’s press release, that the Heat have officially picked up Justise Winslow‘s team option for the 2018-19 season.

“The Miami HEAT announced today that they have exercised their fourth-year team option on Justise Winslow. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Winslow, who was originally selected by the HEAT in the first round (10th overall) in the 2015 NBA Draft, has appeared in 96 career games (23 starts) with Miami averaging 7.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 29.8 minutes while shooting 40 percent from the field. He was one of eight HEAT players to average double-figures in points (10.9) last season, marking the most for any team in the NBA. The former NBA All-Rookie Second Team selection appeared in 78 games in 2015-16, becoming just the fifth rookie to lead the HEAT in games played during a single-season. The former NCAA champion at Duke paired with Josh Richardson to become just the fourth set of Miami rookies to connect on at least 25 three-point field goals (32) and block at least 25 shots (26) during their rookie seasons. Additionally, Winslow was the third-youngest player in the league to start on Opening Night during the 2015-16 season at just 20 years, 216 days.”

Winslow’s contract will count against the team’s cap for that 2018-19 season, paying him $3,448,926 that season. He will be the seventh-highest player then under contract for Miami, as the team is currently constructed. Who stays and who goes after this promising season is over remains to be determined.

Lately news has been Winslow is working extremely hard to upgrade his game by fixing the problems that held him back in his first two seasons. With break-out seasons this one and next, Justise would be eligible for potentially massive $20 million pay raises to $25 million per year starting in 2020.

His performances need to the reach the Anthony Davis levels for that to happen. A highly unlikely outcome, but a good problem for the Miami Heat to have if Justise Winslow manages to pull it off. Obviously receiving the Most Improved Player Award would be a lock for him.

Should the Heat sign Winslow to a 5 year/25% Designated Rookie extension, his salary would jump from $5 million to $25 million for one year to the next.