Udonis Haslem is back and not going to China, Miami Heat can’t increase playing time

Udonis Haslem is back and not going to China, Miami Heat can’t increase playing time

One down one more to sign.

Udonis Haslem is keeping his talents in Miami for another season.

Haslem officially signed his one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Miami Heat. Haslem will enter his 16th NBA season, all with the Heat. The Miami native is the longest tenured member of the Heat returning for a franchise-record 16th season.

“It’s great to have our captain back,” Heat President Pat Riley said. “We’re looking forward to having UD back for his 16th season with the Heat.”

Haslem, a three-time NBA Champion who has seen action in 147 postseason games (84 starts) however has only appeared in only 14 games last season and hasn’t had much of a role with the Heat in the previous three seasons. Haslem believes he can still play — he has kept himself in tremendous condition.

Haslem made whispers transform into loud words when he considered playing overseas next season. Before officially signing, at the team’s youth summer camp at South Broward High School that he has given thought to play next season in China or elsewhere overseas.

“I might just go play in China or Europe or something. I’ve got some game left and I ain’t really trying to waste it too much more. So I’m going to figure it out.”

Born and raised in the county of Dade as the kids would say and a high school champion at Miami Senior High School. He is the Heat’s all-time leader in offensive, defensive and total rebounds. He is also the first undrafted player in NBA history to become their team’s all-time rebounds leader.

Haslem was the seventh-oldest player in the NBA last season. It will be hard to see his minutes increase with the potential signing of teammate and the Heat’s franchise player Dwyane Wade lead him to come off the bench.

“UD,” appeared in just 14 games for a total of 72 minutes during the 2017-18 season, Haslem did not play in the postseason as the Heat were dismantled in five games in the first round of the playoffs to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Haslem’s leadership role has been exceptional on and off the basketball court. His reputation with the franchise, the fact he mentors teammates and creating opportunities for those in the South Florida community never goes unnoticed. Will we notice him on the court this season or the same role for season 16? Both sides with at some point give in.

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