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Heat's Udonis Haslem Will Return for 20th NBA Season, Plans to Retire After 2022-23

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 21, 2022

Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Udonis Haslem will return to the Miami Heat for his 20th—and final—season in the NBA.

The 42-year-old announced his decision to sign a new contract with Miami during an appearance at his youth camp on Sunday.

Haslem also noted that he will retire at the end of next season:

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang

Udonis Haslem added that this will be his final season. “One more year,” he said.

Haslem appeared in 13 games for the Heat last season, averaging 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.

Playing time has been limited for the veteran forward in recent years, appearing in just one game in 2020-21 and four in 2019-20. In the past six seasons, Haslem has just 58 total appearances and zero in the postseason.

The Heat still recognize his value as a locker room presence, giving him the option to return each season despite minimal on-court contributions. On the day free agency opened, the organization sent a "delegation of employees" to Haslem's vacation home to convince him to return for the 2022-23 season.

Despite the team interest, Haslem was unsure about returning as of last week.

"For me, it's just a lot going on," he told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. "I have a lot of things that I had to really, really think about."

He is now ready to return, joining Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant as the only NBA players to spend an entire career of at least 20 seasons with one franchise.

Haslem has helped the Heat win three NBA titles, playing significant minutes during each of the playoff runs. He appeared in 44 combined postseason games, making 30 starts, in 2012 and 2013 as Miami won championships behind LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Even if it would be a smaller role, he is looking to earn a fourth ring with a team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

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