Heat Rumors: Kendrick Nunn Could Get Contract Offers for $15M per Year in Free AgencyMay 28, 2021
Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn reportedly may receive contract offers "in the $15 million a year range" as a restricted free agent during the 2021 NBA offseason.
John Hollinger of The Athletic reported Friday the situation is part of a "bizarre pickle" the Heat will find themselves in during the summer as they attempt to keep Nunn and fellow RFA Duncan Robinson, while maintaining the financial flexibility to upgrade the roster via free agency or sign-and-trade deals.
Nunn went undrafted in 2018 and spent his first pro season with the G League's Santa Cruz Warriors before signing with the Heat in 2019.
The 25-year-old Chicago native has quickly emerged as a key rotation member for Miami. He's averaged 15.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 threes in 123 appearances over the past two seasons.
In January, Nunn said getting the opportunity to play consistently is all it took for him to break out in the NBA.
"It's the minutes. It's the minutes for me," he told reporters. "It's getting in the game and getting in the flow of the game. Then, after that, I just be myself, getting into the flow of the game, getting into a rhythm and making winning plays."
The Heat reached the NBA Finals during his first season, but they failed to build off that success during the 2020-21 campaign. They finished sixth in the East with a 40-32 record and now they're on the brink of elimination as they face a 3-0 series deficit against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
Between falling short of expectations and the high number of players with uncertain contract statuses, the Heat could undergo some significant changes during the offseason.
Besides Nunn and Robinson, other players not under contract for next season include unrestricted free agents Victor Oladipo, Trevor Ariza, Nemanja Bjelica, Dewayne Dedmon and Udonis Haslem. In addition, Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala have club options in their deals for 2021-22.
Trying to keep Nunn will probably be one of the team's top priorities, but an offer sheet that includes an annual salary upwards of $15 million could force the Heat front office into a tough decision.