Haywood Highsmith, Delon Wright want to stay with Heat

(Rich Storry/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat, less than 48 hours removed from getting eliminated in five games to the Boston Celtics, conducted exit interviews Friday afternoon.

Not every player spoke (it was optional), but two who did were Haywood Highsmith and Delon Wright, who are both impending free agents this offseason.

Both players made it known they would like to remain with the Heat, if possible.

Definitely want to stay in Miami. My family lives here, my daughter lives here,” Highsmith said. “That’s a priority to be around my daughter a lot.”

“It was a fun experience for me over the past 2 months I’ve been here, so I would definitely love to come back,” Wright said.“But it’s a business, so you never know what the future holds.”

Highsmith, 27, will be a restricted agent for the first time in his career; Wright, who turned 32-years-old on April 26, will be an unrestricted free agent.

Highsmith averaged 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.8 steals per contest, shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and a career-best 39.6 percent from 3-point range in his second full season with the Heat. Wright signed with Miami in late February after being bought out by the Washington Wizards.

He appeared in 14 games with the Heat, but got ample run during the Heat’s five-game postseason stint, averaging 8.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and one steal in 26.8 minutes.

“I don’t know if I will be disappointed [if I do not return], because, hopefully, whatever situation I go to will be good for me,” Wright said. “I got a snippet of what it could be. With a full summer and a full training camp, I think it’ll help me have a better season, a better understanding of what [Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra] wants from me.”

Wright is the younger brother of Dorell Wright, who the Heat selected No. 19 overall in the 2004 NBA draft. Unless the Heat dips in its mid-level exception–which would hard-cap them at either the first- or second-apron, depending on how much they use–Wright is eligible to re-sign using his non-bird rights.

Miami will own Highsmith’s full bird rights, however, allowing it to sign Highsmith to any amount up to the max despite it being on the fine line of the second apron.

Both players were two of Miami’s best point-of-attack defenders and developed a strong partnership atop its 2-2-1 zone and its amoebic 2-3 zone. The Heat will have important personnel decisions to sift through, but I would imagine them doing what’s necessary to retain both players.


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Keep them both on minimum contracts. Hard working team guys who play very good defense.


Hopefully HH adds more offensive tricks in his bag.I think he is the kind of guy who will continue to improve and can still go higher.

I cant wait to see Alondes Williams next season.If his skills transition to the big league ,kid’s a scorer.he will probably be the boost that the Miami’s bench desperately needs .just have to improve his free throw percentage.

Reality Czech

I’d be happy to see both signed at or near the minimum.

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