Udonis Haslem has been the heart and soul of the Miami Heat for years, having never played for another NBA team. His contract contains an opt-in clause worth $4.62 million for next season.
It’s a pretty easy assumption that Haslem, who turned 34 years old Monday, would take the money and stay in Miami.
But Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that Haslem could opt out and take a pay cut in stay with the Heat long term.
“Asked if he would be willing to take less for a longer deal, Haslem said: “It’s something I would sit down and talk about with my family and Hank [agent Henry Thomas].”
Haslem has left money on table in the past to stay in Miami, turning down bigger contracts with the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks.
Resigning him to less money could give Miami a chance to make a run at Carmelo Anthony or other free agents.
The Heat showed loyalty to Haslem this season when they turned down a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers for Evan Turner at the February trade deadline.