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Miami Heat Re-Sign Key Free Agent Role Player

Erik Spoelstra is a key part to the Heat's organizational success.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Miami Heat have re-signed free agent forward Haywood Highsmith to a two-year, $11 million contract.

Furthermore, according to Wojnarowski, the contract is “fully guaranteed” and has “no options.”

Highsmith spent the last three seasons of his NBA career with the Heat. In each year with the Heat, Highsmith has gradually assumed a larger role. Last season, the Maryland native averaged 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Furthermore, he shot 46.5% from the field and 39.6% from beyond the arc. Highsmith also started a career-high 26 games last season. Additionally, Highsmith also showcased his impressive defensive talent, making him one of Miami’s most important role players last season.

News of Highsmith’s re-signing comes just days after the Heat lost Caleb Martin to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Miami Heat Re-Sign Key Free Agent Role Player

Many NBA Teams Had Interest in Haywood Highsmith

After his career year, it is no surprise Highsmith was a heavily-desired free agent. In May, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto spoke about what Highsmith’s free agent market was possibly going to look like this summer.

“I would say Haywood (Highsmith) has a lot of interest from teams around the league because of the prototype that he fits, which is a 3-and-D guy,” Michael Scotto of HoopsHype told Wes Goldberg and David Ramil of Locked On Heat Friday. “(He) shot 40 percent from 3, which is a high watermark for teams around the league. Defensively, you guys know in Miami, being ‘The Locksmith.”

Additionally, according to The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard attempted to persuade Highsmith to join the team. Jackson also mentioned that the Phoenix Suns offered Highsmith a minimum contract.

Haywood Highsmith Wanted to Stay in Miami

Ahead of the 2024 NBA offseason, Highsmith made it clear he did not want to leave the place he has called home since 2021.

“I’d love to stay in Miami for sure. I feel like I’ve built a great life out here. My daughter lives out here as well. If all things are close, I definitely would love to stay in Miami, but we’ll see when that time comes. I’ll still be the same person no matter how much I get paid or whatever happens. I’ll still be in the gym locked in and trying to win a championship.”

The reunion seems like the right decision for both teams. Miami needs to keep as much depth and defensive talent as possible on the roster. And as for Highsmith, it makes sense for him to stick with the team after his career year. It will be interesting to see how the 27-year-old follows up his most successful season to date.


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