The Miami Heat successfully locked in 12 of their roster spots in a flurry of activity on the first three days of free agency, and with little cap space left, the team must decide what to do with their final two (or three) roster spots.
While NBA teams can have a maximum of 15 standard-contract players on their roster, it’s acceptable to keep that number to 14 players. After the Heat resigned Victor Oladipo on Wednesday, there are three Heat players who remain free agents: Udonis Haslem, Andre Iguodala, and Omer Yurtseven.
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It’s largely expected for the Heat to retain Haslem, 41, with a one-year veteran’s minimum contract. Haslem joined the Heat in 2003 and remains the oldest active player in the NBA. Despite little playing time, he’s found himself a niche role as the team’s leader and mentor.
After the Heat were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, Haslem didn’t hesitate to say he’d return for a 19th NBA season. “If I take an offseason, I might as well retire,” Haslem said. “So I don’t have an offseason. Straight from the season, I’m going back into the gym.”
Miami Bypassed Team Options for Iguodala & Yurtseven, But They Could Still Return
Miami bypassed Iguodala’s team option ($15 million) on August 1, the team also declined the $1.5 million team option for developmental center Omer Yurtseven. While Yurtseven will stick with the Heat for summer league play, he is also going to be a free agent.
During the summer league opener on August 3, Yurtseven made a strong statement as to why the Heat should resign him. He scored 27 points with 19 rebounds, two assists, and 1 block against the Lakers’ summer league.
As for Iguodala, 37, who was traded to Heat in February 2020, reports have linked him to possibly returning to the Golden State Warriors. However, if no offers are made to the veteran forward, the Heat could retain Iguodala with a minimum salary, or utilize him in sign-and-trade agreements, as the team could with any of their remaining free agents.
Miami Heat’s 2021-22 NBA Roster So Far
While the Heat said goodbye to Kendrick Nunn and Trevor Ariza, both of whom are heading to the Lakers, and Nemanja Bjelica agreed to a deal with the Warriors, the team also lost Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa in the deal that brought Kyle Lowry to Miami.
The following 12 players are locked in for the Heat’s 2021-22 NBA season:
After failing to successfully replace Jae Crowder last season, a core reason for Miami’s uneven season followed by a sweep in the first round of the playoffs, the Heat now have a power rotation of fifth-year center Adebayo, with the veteran support of Tucker, Morris, and Dedmon.