Udonis Haslem might no longer make much of an on-court contribution, but the 42-year-old was a priority for the Miami Heat in free agency:
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel added that the Heat personnel visited Haslem at his vacation home in Orlando.
Haslem has spent his entire 19-year NBA career with the Heat, helping the team win three NBA titles in this stretch.
The center has seen his playing time dwindle in recent years, appearing in just 13 games in 2021-22 while averaging 6.4 minutes and 2.5 points. He has made just 58 total regular-season appearances over the last six seasons.
Haslem's leadership within the locker room was still enough to keep him on the roster throughout this stretch. He re-signed with the team on a one-year deal last year and the organization essentially gave him the green light to keep coming back.
"The Heat have made it clear that Haslem will be allowed to retire on his terms, whenever he so chooses," Winderman reported last year.
Haslem still must decide if he wants to be back for a 20th season. He was unsure of his future as of May, saying he needed to speak with team president Pat Riley and governor Micky Arison.
"I will take my time and sit down the family, Pat, Micky and talk about what's next and where it goes," Haslem told reporters. "Now is time to take a mental break and figure it out."
Thursday's demonstration showed in no uncertain terms that the Heat want Haslem back, whether he wants to come back remains to be seen.
Miami earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season before losing to the Boston Celtics in the conference finals.