NBA

What do the Miami Heat do with Udonis Haslem?

Will the veteran enforcer take a pay cut to stay on the only NBA team he's played for? (©GettyImages)
Will the veteran enforcer take a pay cut to stay on the only NBA team he's played for? (©GettyImages).

Udonis Halsem has been a part of the Miami Heat since 2003 when Miami signed him as an undrafted free agent. Haslem has been a rock-solid role player. Haslem was a vital part of the Heat’s two postseason runs from 2004 to 2006, averaging over 50% shooting and over 8 rebounds a game during that time period.

Fast forward eight years and Haslem has aged to 34, his shooting percentage tumbled and he averages less than four rebounds a game.

Udonis is in position to make $4.6 million next year, exactly $4 million more than he earned in his most productive season (2004) and just slightly above his career average of $4.3 million.

Since Haslem has had such a precipitous decline in productivity, he will have to take a pay cut otherwise the Heat will be forced to trade him.

Trading Haslem is the worst case scenario for Miami. At $4.6 million Haslem is overpaid and the Heat would have to trade other valuable assets, like a draft pick, to convince another team to take on his bloated salary.

One possible trade, if Haslem doesn’t opt out, is exchanging Haslem and the 55th pick in the NBA draft for Brooklyn Nets forward-center Mason Plumlee. Another possible trade target for Haslem and the 55th pick is Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross.

Haslem has been a vital part of the Miami Heat organization for over a decade. So devoted is he to the franchise, Haslem will likely take a pay cut.

The pay cut will be in the ball park of $2.6 million as Udonis will sign a veteran’s minimum worth about $2 million.

A minimum contract for Haslem is a fair value for both sides. Haslem would be lightly used in situations where a defensive enforcer is needed.

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Topics:
New Jersey Nets
Miami Heat
NBA
NBA Draft

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