free agent big man Udonis Haslemwho has spent his entire 19-year NBA career with the Heatwill formally announce his future NBA plans at his youth camp in Miami on Sunday, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (through Twitter).
As Winderman notes, the Heat have given Haslem the option to return for a 20th season — if he’s interested. If he re-signs, Miami would have 14 players with guaranteed contracts on its standard 15-man roster and would be approximately $200K below the luxury tax line of $150,267,000, tweet Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.
The 42-year-old said on Monday that his NBA future as a player was still up in the air, but evidently he’s either given himself a deadline or has arrived at a decision.
Haslem was a valuable on-court contributor in the earlier portion of his career, starting 52 of Miami’s 66 postseason games during the club’s championship runs in 2006, 2012 and 2013. In 872 regular season games, including 500 starts (24.8 MPG), he holds averages of 7.5 PPG and 6.6 RPG while shooting 48.9% from the floor and 75.6% from the line.
Over the past six seasons, Haslem has primarily served as a veteran mentor and leader, appearing in a total of just 58 games with a modest average of 7.0 MPG. Still, the Heat clearly loves his ability to get through to his teammates, which is why they keep giving him an open invitation to return every year despite his limited on-court production.