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Udonis Haslem Re-Signs with Miami Heat

Udonis Haslem is staying with the Miami Heat.

Haslem signed a five-year, $20 million contract on Monday, roughly $13 million less than he could have received if he accepted more lucrative offers elsewhere.

Haslem had been heavily pursued in recent days. The Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks each reportedly offered him a five-year, $33 million mid-level exception contract over the weekend, and the New Jersey Nets offered three years and $20 million last week. He also received interest from the Utah Jazz, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks. But every team that showed interest in him did so with pessimism that he could be lured away from Miami.

A week ago, Haslem expected he would sign elsewhere, but then the combination of a $58.044 million salary cap ($2 million more than expected) and the decisions by Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh to take less money made it possible for him to stay where he wanted.

The salary cap maneuvering which allowed for the possibility was orchestrated by Wade, when he approached Bosh and James to suggest they all take less money, specifically to re-sign Haslem.

The three had already agreed to reduce their starting salaries by $3.5 million to accommodate the contract of Mike Miller. They split the discount evenly, with each player reducing his starting salary by around $1.2 million, which equated to a $9 million sacrifice per player over the course of their six year deals.

Wade requested that they reduce their starting salaries by another $3.0 million to accommodate the contract of Haslem. James and Bosh obliged, with Wade taking a disproportionate share of that discount. Wade reduced his starting salary a further $1.2 million ($9 million over six years) to accommodate Haslem, while James and Bosh reduced their salaries a further $900K ($7 million over six years).

The sacrifices of Wade, James and Bosh enabled the Heat to create an extra $3.5 million of cap room, which the Heat then offered to Haslem as a full five-year contract with maximum allowable raises, totaling $20 million. Haslem then finished it off by agreeing to the deal with Miami that will pay him $13 million, or nearly 40%, less than he could have earned elsewhere.

“I would be changing my DNA if I left just for money,” he said. 

Another factor for Haslem was Miller’s decision to join the Heat — something the team still hasn’t formally announced. Miller and Haslem are extremely close friends, both former Florida Gators as well.

It remains unclear as to Heat president Pat Riley asked Haslem to sacrifice even more over the past few days. Riley been pursuing Los Angels Lakers championship point guard Derek Fisher rather vigorously, reportedly telling him he envisioned Fisher as the Heat’s starting point guard and offering an undisclosed sum of money.

It is possible that Riley’s delay in signing Haslem was the result of him offering the last of the Heat’s $3.5 million of cap space to Fisher, which would have nothing more for Haslem than a $1.1 million minimum salary. The Heat could have made Haslem whole the next summer, by leveraging his Bird rights to offer him a higher-value, longer-term deal. Fisher opted to remain with the two-time defending NBA champion Lakers earlier today.

Haslem, 30, has spent all seven of his NBA seasons with the Heat, after going undrafted and spending his first professional season in France. He made $7.1 million last season.

Riley issued a statement in the wake of Haslem’s signing.

“Today,” Riley said, “is a great day for the future of the Miami Heat.

“He is the epitome of what the Heat is about. He is our anchor, he is a true warrior and a great professional.”

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  1. Hal
    July 12th, 2010 at 18:38 | #1

    It will be a great day if and when the Heat raise Udonis Haslem’s jersey to the rafters. I will be at that game for sure. Udonis makes me proud of being from Miami.

  2. Brian T
    July 12th, 2010 at 18:42 | #2

    UD has sacrificed more then anyone in the Heat organization and he continues to show his love for his home town. He continues to amaze me.

  3. July 12th, 2010 at 18:45 | #3

    Udonis Haslem has sacrificed an estimated $18 – $23 million over the course of his career to play for the city and team he loves. A true class act.

  4. Gary
    July 12th, 2010 at 18:54 | #4

    UD has always been a class act. Last year, after a tough decision was made for him, he gave 100 percent. I have met him several times and he is what you see. A great guy willing to go into battle for you, his teammates and his city. Now who is going to be our center?

  5. Hal
    July 12th, 2010 at 19:45 | #5

    I have to believe Joel Anthony will fit in nicely with this unit, assuming we re-sign him. Bosh will love Joel’s grittiness. And Wade won’t have to worry about Joel’s suspect hands becuase with Bosh and LeBron at the rim, Joel’s touches on offense will be limited to putbacks. We will still need a couple more bangers to match up with the giants in L.A. and Boston and the king giant in Orlando. Varnado and Pittman are unlikely to be the answer this season I wouldn’t think. But who knows?

  6. CB
    July 12th, 2010 at 22:28 | #6

    Not to break up the love fest (bc trust me, i love him as much as you guys), but Mike Miller sacrificed the most relatively of anyone on this roster for this contract. He wouldve been a classic Knicks 5yr / 50m contract. Another note that i havent seen really addressed, Lebron/Wade are going to average 30-32 mins / game during the regular season. Its going to be difficult to get their minutes UP, when we are beating teams by 20+ in the 3rd quarters. I love all the media doubters, the same clows that thought Wade was a Chicago lock and Riley couldnt nab Bosh/Lebron. I really can’t see how this whole thing wont work. We are going to have one more big signing that no one is thinking about over next week or so…

    • July 12th, 2010 at 22:52 | #7

      @CB
      I completely agree with you regarding the minutes. I actually address it here.

      It’s funny that you mention Miller’s sacrifices as well. I have a post in queue regarding that very topic (just waiting for definitive word on his contract).

  7. Remote Heat fan
    July 12th, 2010 at 23:07 | #8

    @CB

    Who is this big signing?

    Jason Williams?
    Big Z?

  8. lucas fb
    July 13th, 2010 at 00:28 | #9

    ud is the greaest guy on nba. so im glad for having him on the team.
    miller left more money on the table, its ud second paycut.

    gotta thank god,for florida no tax and prety sunny city of miami.caise of werent for that, the miller and ud thing would have not happened.

    i also think we ll sign around 2 or 3 good players yet!!!

    dooling,luke,house,head, jwill,arroyo(for last) for pg
    raja,rasual,herman for wingers
    brad,kwame,big z at center

    and u still have the likes of tolliver,von wafer,wally,tim thomas,jarvis,gerald green,luther head, boone…

  9. Brian T
    July 13th, 2010 at 02:23 | #10

    UD, Miller, and Raja in my opinion are a done deal!

    We need a big body to play along side Bosh! I would love to see a good passing big like Brad that can also spread the floor. He fits our system perfectly! Big Z would do just fine as well.

  10. July 13th, 2010 at 07:31 | #11

    yeah Udonis Haslem is the definition of class, loyalty and warrior. every championship team needs that and imo is very underrated… i think his a lot more tougher than guys like odom or gasol, hes proven he can outmuscle them even though he’s a short pf

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