Major Heat Roster Moves Depend on Udonis Haslem’s Free Agent Decision, per Insider

Udonis Haslem. Miami Heat

Getty Udonis Haslem. Miami Heat

The Miami Heat remains among the ‘most significant teams in pursuit of Kevin Durant, according to the August 8 report from Shams Charania of The Athletic. For Miami to acquire Durant they will likely have to include Bam Adebayo in any of their trade discussions, and that has been the hold up so far in the negotiations. A third team could join the negotiations to help facilitate a trade, but teams have been said to be ‘hesitant’ to help Brooklyn finalize any trade rumors. 

Aside from the possible Kevin Durant trade, the Heat’s roster is almost set as they don’t have the roster or salary cap space to add other players. 

Heat Roster Moves Rely on Whether Udonis Haslem Returns

Heat reporter Ira Winderman in his mailbag column, answered a question about Markieff Morris and if the Heat may bring him back to, which he said relies on Udonis Haslem. 

“Q: Is the door still open for Markieff Morris? – Ted.

A: That is up to Udonis Haslem. If Haslem returns for a 20th Heat season, then he will fill the Heat’s 14th standard roster spot and put the Heat too close to the luxury tax to add another player. At this point, Haslem basically controls whether the door is open for anyone else, barring a trade that sends out more players than are brought in,” Winderman wrote

Haslem, who the Heat front office traveled to Orlando to offer a contract to right after the NBA free agency window opened will likely be the final piece for the Heat. It would be the big man’s 20th season in the NBA and is a player the Heat want back. Even while Haslem doesn’t command many minutes for the Heat anymore, he does command their locker room. His influence has been talked about on a number of occasions this offseason, including Andre Igoudala citing his time with the Heat and Heat Culture, helping him in his role on the Golden State Warriors championship run this year. 

Haslem on his Role with the Miami Heat

Haslem remains a valuable player for the Heat despite not playing in a lot of games. He spoke earlier this offseason on Duncan Robinson’s ‘The Long Shot’ podcast about why he continues to play rather than move on to coach or other league ventures. 

“I don’t feel comfortable sitting there and barking orders. I feel more comfortable being there with you,” Haslem said. 

He also prefers playing because he doesn’t have to take sides in the political side that comes from coaching or front office personnel. 

“I got to sleep at night, dude. That’s why I don’t. I’ve been in the position where coaches have had to make decisions based upon certain things, draft picks, this, that, and the third. I don’t ever want to do that,” Haslem said. “I always want to be in the position where I can remain neutral. The guy who works the hardest and deserves to play should get the minutes. I don’t want to play the political game.” 

With Haslem being the final piece for the Heat, he seems to take exception with those that speculate, saying he taking a roster spot from other players. 

“People think I’m taking a spot, but I’m actually here giving,” Haslem said. 

It’s that mentality that keeps Haslem as one of Heat culture’s biggest ambassadors and that keeps him a priority in Miami’s offseason negotiations. 

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