Miami Heat Slams the Door on Ex-Guard’s Possible Return: Report

avery bradley

Getty Avery Bradley #11 of the Miami Heat warms up prior to the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at American Airlines Arena on December 29, 2020.

Miami Heat‘s roster for the 2021-22 NBA season is looking drastically different from last season following a flurry of free agency moves, but the franchise truly started restructuring their team back at the trade deadline.

On March 25, the Heat completed a trade with the Houston Rockets to receive two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo in exchange for Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, and a swapped draft pick.

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Olynyk went on to sign a three-year, $37 million contract with the Detriot Pistons, but Bradley was thrust back into free agency after the Rockets decided not to pick his $6 million contract for the upcoming season.

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While Bradley is heading to work out with the Golden State Warriors, per The Undefeated’s Marc Spears, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, he was initially hoping to join back with the Heat.

“Per source, Bradley was very much open to a Heat return, but Heat was not interested in that, at this time,” Jackson tweeted, a tough blow for the 30-year-old guard.

Bradley Originally Signed a 2-Year $11.55 Million Contract With the Heat

The former 19th overall pick signed with the Heat in November 2020 after winning an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bradley, however, was not on the court during their postseason matchups as he had opted out of the restart of the 2019-2020 season due to family concerns related to COVID-19.

After signing a two-year, $11.55 million contract with the Heat, Bradley only appeared in 10 games after suffering a calf strain, a bruised knee, and getting sick with COVID-19. After being traded to the Rockets, the 2015-16 All-Defensive First Team player appeared in 17 games, averaging 5.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 23 points per game, per Yahoo! Sports.

While his lackluster stats could explain why the Heat aren’t interested in bringing the 11-year NBA veteran back to South Beach, there was also a dip in his three-point shooting. With the Heat, the 6-foot-2 guard, who’s best known for his perimeter defense, was shooting 42.1% on threes. With the Rockets, he averaged just 27% from deep.

If healthy, Bradley could bounce back and have a great campaign next season, it just won’t be while playing with the Heat.

Miami Heat’s 2021-22 NBA Roster So Far

While the Heat said goodbye to Kendrick Nunn, Andre Iguodala, Trevor Ariza, and Nemanja Bjelica in free agency, the team also lost Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa in the deal that brought Kyle Lowry to Miami.

While the Heat could sign one more player to a standard contract, a team can have 15 players on their active roster, it seems unlikely Miami will expand further if they want to stay below the luxury tax. As it stands, the Heat are “less than $1 million under the $137 million tax line and a bit over $6 million below the $143 million hard cap,” Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported.

After signing Caleb Martin and Marcus Garrett to two-way contracts, the following 14 players are locked in for the Heat’s 2021-22 NBA season:

Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, P.J. Tucker, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, KZ Okapala, Dewayne Dedmon, Markieff Morris, Victor Oladipo, Udonis Haslem, and Omer Yurtseven.

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