Udonis Haslem Breaks Silence About Potential 20th Season with Miami Heat

Udonis Haslem

Getty Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat

Time is ticking down for the Miami Heat to finalize their roster going into the 2022-2023 NBA season. The franchise continues to try to facilitate a trade to acquire either Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets or Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz. As their roster and salary cap sit, the Heat likely can only sign one more player on this roster. That player is expected to be Udonis Haslem. 

In his mailbag column Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel shared that the rest of the Heat’s roster constructions outside of any trades rely on the decision of Udonis Haslem and if he returns for a 20th career NBA season. 

“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 Speaks Out About Potential Return

On August 15, Haslem gave a presentation at Nova University on behalf of his foundation. In his conversation with the media after the presentation, Haslem was asked about his plans and the possibility of his return next season. 

“I don’t know,” Haslem said after completing a presentation on behalf of his foundation. “We’re thinking about it. But either way, I’m always going to be a part of the Heat family. I ain’t going nowhere, whether I play or not. I’m always going to impact that organization.”

The 20th season for Haslem is a special one. His dad passed away last year, and before he had passed Haslem and his dad had talked about playing for that many years. 

“For me,” he said, “it’s just a lot going on. I have a lot of things that I had to really, really think about. Twenty years is a conversation I had with my father.”

However, Haslem didn’t use that statement as a guarantee that he will return for year twenty. “Things change,” Haslem said. “He’s not here no more. Goals change,” Haslem continued. 


Haslem and the Miami Heat

The Heat are expected to give Haslem all the time he needs to mull over the decision to return or not. The franchise made sure to be at Haslem’s door as soon as the free agency window opened in June. A gesture that showed the important role that Haslem plays for the Heat franchise. The move even surprised Haslem, and he shared a hilarious story about the surprise encounter. 

“I was in Orlando with my kids, and that sh*t almost got shot up. I was in Orlando with my kids out in the front yard, and a black SUV pulled up riding slow,” Haslem said. “I didn’t know who the f*ck it was at first. My wife knew, but I didn’t know. So I’m outside with my kids in the front yard in Orlando…then I see this black SUV riding up slow. Now it’s creeping, and it’s slow… and I can’t see nothing! Now it’s stopped, and he takes a little while before he gets out the car. My instincts kicked in.”

Those instincts almost led to Haslem tackling Heat Vice President Tim Donovan. But he of course, appreciated the gesture. 

“But it was all love, man. It was appreciative. I understand how people feel about me and what I mean to the organization. The conversation was about what’s next for us. Me, as a businessman and what’s next for us as an organization, and how do we make that come together,” Haslem said. 

 

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