Veteran Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem revealed to beat writer Ira Winderman over the weekend that he will return to the team for his eighteenth season in 2020-21.
Haslem, who signed with the Heat as an undrafted free agent in the summer of 2003, will come back once again to contribute to the franchise that he has helped win three NBA titles.
He is set to sign a contract for one year that will be worth $2.6 million in total, making him set to be the only 40-year-old player in the league next year.
The Miami native’s upcoming season with the team will make him only sixth player in the history of the league to spend at least 18 seasons with one franchise. While Haslem doesn’t play regularly any more, his presence in the team’s locker room and as a mentor has been lauded as crucial to their success.
During the Heat’s run to the NBA Finals, coach Erik Spoelstra talked about why he is so happy to have Haslem around. “He’s just an incredible rock of stability and leadership and mentorship …. He provides just great guidance and mentorship to this head coach as well. I love him,” Spoelstra explained.
Haslem appeared in four games as a bench player last season, averaging 3 points and 4 rebounds per game in limited minutes.
It remains to be seen whether or not the 2020-21 season will be Haslem’s last go in Miami, but his team will be able to enjoy having him around at least for another campaign.