Heat's Udonis Haslem to Return for 18th Season on Reported 1-Yr, $2.5M Contract

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIINovember 13, 2020

Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem (40) poses during the NBA basketball team's media day, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Longtime Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem is coming back for his 18th NBA season, announcing his decision Friday.

Clay Ferraro @ClayWPLG

Breaking: here’s Udonis Haslem at today’s announcement after saying he will return for another season with the Heat. Will 2020-21 be his FINAL season? “man, Spo told me don’t answer that question” 😂 https://t.co/hGXE7XJ7He

According to the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds, Haslem will sign a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

The South Florida native was preparing to retire after the 2018-19 season but returned for a 17th year, hoping to provide his city with a proper goodbye in the process. That soon become unfeasible as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and forced the league to go on a five-month hiatus, only to return without fans able to attend games.

Now he's looking for another chance to properly end his career and help a budding Heat team win its next NBA title. Miami reached the 2019-20 NBA Finals before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

Haslem appeared in just four regular-season contests in 2019-20, averaging 3.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.

In May, Haslem told Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald it would be hard to end his career this year with how COVID-19 has changed the team's operations:

"It's hard to really say now because all the things that I really wanted at the end have been taken away from me. You want to walk away on your own terms; that has been taken away. You want an opportunity for the people that have loved and supported you and sacrificed so much for you to be here in this time of your career; that has been taken away. And you want to have something connected with the organization when you walk away."

An undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida in 2002, Haslem has been part of three title teams in Miami, playing a central role for the 2006 Heat and serving as a key role player in 2012 and 2013.