Dwyane Wade Gave Up $1.5M Per Year for Udonis Haslem's Heat Contract in 2010

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2020

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem (40) and guard Dwyane Wade (3) look up during the second half of Game 3 of an NBA second-round playoff basketball series against the Toronto Raptors, Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Alan Diaz/Associated Press

Dwyane Wade gave up $1.5 million of his annual salary to help the Miami Heat make room for Udonis Haslem in 2010, while LeBron James and Chris Bosh each gave up $1 million, according Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

The Heat notably signed James, Wade and Bosh that offseason to help build a team that went onto win two NBA titles and reach the Finals in four straight seasons. However, each sacrificed salary to help build depth on the roster. 

The three superstars first agreed to take $1 million less than the max salary to bring in sharpshooter Mike Miller. They then took another hit to keep Haslem, who reportedly had offers of $34 million over five years with both the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks but accepted a five-year, $20.3 million deal from the Heat.

Wade and Haslem each entered the league in 2003 and were teammates for parts of 15 seasons.

The two had been together for seven years when they both hit free agency in 2010, with each playing a significant role in Miami's run to the title in 2006. Haslem started every game he played in that postseason and was the squad's second-leading rebounder behind only Shaquille O'Neal.

Though the forward accepted a smaller role later in his career, he was still a regular in the rotation as the Heat won titles in 2012 and 2013.

This was despite initially telling Wade he was going to leave in free agency in 2010.

"Dwyane and I had a heart-to-heart," Haslem said. "And said: 'I love you, and if we're together in the future, we'll win rings together again. But at this point, I've got to go.'"

Wade's reduced salary allowed the Heat to provide enough to keep Haslem on the roster. The 40-year-old is now in his 17th season in Miami and is considering a return next year.