Gabe Vincent Reveals ‘Interesting’ Reason He Chose Lakers Over Heat

Gabe Vincent

Getty Gabe Vincent of the L.A. Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Gabe Vincent confirmed why he chose L.A. over staying with the Miami Heat.

Vincent signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Lakers this offseason instead of inking a new deal with Miami, and he confirmed it ultimately came down to money.

“For me it was tough,” Vincent said, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Obviously the dollar figure matters; I am human. I’m not going to say that didn’t play a role. At the end of the day the money situation was interesting.”

A Modesto, California native, Vincent also played his college ball at UC Santa Barbara, so heading to Los Angeles was a homecoming of sorts. Still, Vincent noted he was open to staying with the Heat, who gave him his first opportunity in the NBA.

What Type of Contract Did Heat Offer Gabe Vincent?

The Heat offered Vincent a four-year, $34 million contract, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. That’s an $8.5 million per year salary. Vincent opted for the Lakers’ deal instead, which rounds out to $11 million annually.

“I kind of thought I’d be back,” Vincent said about returning to South Beach. “But things change. I had an opportunity to perform the way I did in the playoffs, and I think that changed drastically what my offseason looked like.”

The 27-year-old guard had a standout postseason for the No. 8 seed Heat, who made it all the way to the NBA Finals. In 22 playoff games, Vincent put up averages of 12.7 points, 3.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds.

“I think the run we had shocked everyone,” Vincent told Winderman. “I thought there’d be a place for me back there. And just unfortunately we just couldn’t come to an agreement. When things changed and I had an opportunity to play at a high level, I raised my value. I think that, alone, made it difficult. We were aware of that.”

Gabe Vincent Is Off to a Slow Start This Season

The veteran guard, who went undrafted and signed a two-way deal with the Heat during the 2019-2020 season, made his NBA debut in January of 2020. Due to his gritty play and reliability, he carved out a solid role with the Heat, starting 61 games for Miami over the previous two seasons.

In 2022-23, Vincent averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 assists and and 2.1 rebounds. So far this season, he’s off to a slow start with the Lakers. Vincent is averaging 6.0 points, 3.0 assists and 1.0 rebounds. He’s shooting 39.3% from the field and has struggled from distance, hitting just 1-of-14 attempts.

“It’s very different,” Vincent told Winderman about playing in L.A.. “No matter where you’re at, the Lakers, that name carries a lot of weight. And then the LeBron effect, you can’t talk about that team without talking about him in that way. It’s a lot of attention. It’s a lot of eyes. I wouldn’t say better or worse, it’s different.”

The Heat and Lakers are set to square off on November 6 in South Beach, but Vincent will miss the game due to a knee injury. Perhaps he’ll face off against his former team in Los Angeles on January 3, which will be the next time the Heat play the Lakers.

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