Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade considers former Florida Gators power forward Udonis Haslem one of his best friends. That is likely one reason why he took almost $3 million less than cohorts forward LeBron James and power forward Chris Bosh when signing with Miami a few days ago – to free up some money to re-sign Haslem.
Unfortunately for Wade and perhaps the Heat as well, Haslem has drawn interest from at least two other teams who have put solid and tempting offers on the table. First the New Jersey Nets and then the Dallas Mavericks each offered him a three-year, $20 million contract over the weekend, hoping to lure Haslem with a guarantee of more money and significantly more playing time.
Though he has spent almost his entire life playing basketball in the state of Florida, loves his home (as evidenced by his back tat) and wants to stick around, Haslem may be at the point in his career where the guarantee of a few million more per season significantly outweighs the ability to play with a close friend.
The Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Utah Jazz have been mentioned previously as teams who had expressed interest in Haslem.
A seven-year NBA veteran, he earned $7.1 million last season but is being looked at by New Jersey and Dallas as a full mid-level exception player. Miami can currently only offer $1.1 million per year – the veteran’s minimum – but will likely be able to up that offer as their available salary cap gets clearer.
Haslem has averaged 10.0 points and 8.1 rebounds throughout his career.
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