Haywood Highsmith doubles down on wanting to remain with Heat

Haywood Highsmith
Haywood Highsmith is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. (Rich Storry/Getty Images)

During his exit interview, forward Haywood Highsmith expressed interest in returning to Miami, where his family lives, stating that a priority of his is to be “around my daughter a lot.”

On Friday, in an exclusive interview with NBA reporter Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Highsmith, an unrestricted free agent, doubled down on interest in returning to the Heat, who he’s spent the last three seasons with.

“I’d love to stay in Miami for sure,” he said. “I feel like I’ve built a great life out here. My daughter lives out here as well. If all things are close, I definitely would love to stay in Miami, but we’ll see when that time comes. I’ll still be the same person no matter how much I get paid or whatever happens. I’ll still be in the gym locked in and trying to win a championship.”

 

 

Highsmith, 27, is coming off his best season as a professional, averaging 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.8 steals in 20.7 minutes across 66 games, including 26 starts. He shot 46.5 percent from the floor, 39.6 percent from 3-point range–albeit on 2.9 attempts with a 3-point rate of 58.4 percent–and 63.9 percent from the free-throw line. For his career, his averages are 4.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in 17.6 minutes on 44.3/36.8/53.5 shooting splits; for perspective, those averages would equal out to 9.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per 36 minutes.

He has consistently been one of Miami’s point-of-attack defenders, which is a low bar. But the 6-foot-5 wing has utilized his 7-foot wingspan to contain ballhandlers, generate myriad deflections and close defensive possessions on the glass for the Heat.

Highsmith, who began his career in the Philadelphia 76ers organization, is coming off a three-year, $3.9 million contract that was non-guaranteed in the final two seasons. Miami eventually guaranteed both years with cap hits of $1.8 million and $1.9 million, respectively.

Since Highsmith’s been with the organization for three seasons without leaving in free agency, the Heat will own his bird rights this offseason. Thus, they can sign him up to any amount to the max.

Miami’s in a complicated situation with its salary cap. If you account for Tyler Herro’s $2.5 million in unlikely bonuses–which you have to for cap calculations–and its No. 15 pick (~$4.2 million), it is less than $500K away from the second apron.

That’s assuming all of the player options (Caleb Martin, Kevin Love, Josh Richardson, Thomas Bryant) are exercised before the new league year, in addition to Orlando Robinson’s $2.1 million contract getting guaranteed. Miami can still free up salary if it pleases to so it doesn’t have to exceed that ultra-onerous second apron.

That may include Highsmith receiving a Caleb Martin-like contract from two offseasons ago when he signed for three years, $20.4 million, which had cap hits of $6.5 million, $6.8 million and $7.1 (player option for ’24-25), respectively.

“Humbly, I’m grateful to be in a position like this. It doesn’t matter how much I make if it’s $10 or $15 million per year,” Highsmith told Scotto. “I’ll push myself to be the hardest worker on the team, continue to get better, be a contributor by guarding the best player, knock down shots, do what it takes to win, stay in my role, and help win championships. 

“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and nothing’s going to change as far as whatever I get paid. I’ll still be a hard worker, get in the gym early, and put that extra work in to help the team win games and a championship.”

What do you think Highsmith’s future with Heat looks like? Let us know in the comments!

***

To check out our other content, click here.

Follow Hot Hot Hoops on Twitter/X here!

Follow Hot Hot Hoops on Instagram here!

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
38 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ManilaHeat

Learning curve for these young Pacers. Props to these Celts for the comeback but I still don’t want to see them win it all 😜

Big_guy305

Wow Rick Carlisle should of called timeout , lost the pacers 2 games. For a coach that won a championship I thought his end game management would be better, but It sucks smh.

Last edited 27 days ago by Big_guy305
Reality Czech

Yup, they could’ve been up 2-1.

Big_guy305

Smh, he gonna blame refs to watch lol

ManilaHeat

Was hoping that series goes the distance but it’ll be over soon.

vagibugi

You need a Slovenian, which puts a French dancing Matilda on skates, to win it all.

What a game.

SunManFromDogBone

Luka was great! Lively was also very good…especially for a rookie.

vagibugi

I was referring that you need a Slovenian. I m still available, if Heat call. I m not very fast, bat probably a bit faster then Gobert. 🙂 (at least ones out of 100 tries).

SunManFromDogBone

I sure do like Lively’s game. I wonder if there is a hidden gem like him in this year’s draft?

Big_guy305

There definitely is and you named some options below. Ware and Messi. I also like holmes, but he isn’t as tall as the other 2, I think he’s like 6’10 with shoes on, but he still a better 2 way player.

oregoner

Bring him back on a Caleb Martin type of contract (3 years $20 million) and I’m all for it

SunManFromDogBone

Too much for a guy with 6.1/4.8 career ppg avg. 3 years/$12M maybe. He still must learn to become more assertive on offense. To earn more he should have at least a 10 ppg average.

oregoner

the mid level is 12 million per season. The minimum for a guy that’s been in the nba as long as haywood is like 3 million.

If you’re offering 12 million for 3 years, you’re basically offering a minimum contract, and you’ll get him for one year with a player option, unless someone else makes a better offer.

SunManFromDogBone

There you go.

oregoner

strongly disagree. Highsmith is as good as Airplane Mode, who is starting for a title team.

If he gets a Max Strus contract, then you tip your hat and let him walk away and hope Jamie can fill his shoes. But if you can get him for multiple years below the midlevel, I would be Happy to see the Locksmith on this team for many years to come.

SunManFromDogBone

Herro and future pick to Atlanta for Murray
Duncan and 2nd round pick to Detroit for Stewart
Draft a center (Zach Edey, DaRon Holmes, Ka’lel Ware, Yves Messi?) with 15th pick

Rozier, Murray, Butler, Bam, Stewart
JRich, Jaquez, Jovic, Haywood, Love/Rookie C

Big_guy305

That’s a great plan…… if only it was that easy 😭

Last edited 27 days ago by Big_guy305
SunManFromDogBone

You never know until you try.

Big_guy305

Hopefully the Godfather still has some tricks up his sleeve.

oregoner

I like Beef Stew, but Duncan is way better than him

SunManFromDogBone

Different roles. Duncan sucks at interior and perimeter defense. If he’s hot…he’s hot. If he’s not…he’s not. Swider can be groomed to be team’s off the bench 3 point specialist. His 3pt % at Sioux Falls in 2023-2024 was .429.

*Isaiah Stewart shot 38.3% from 3 this past season and is 34.8% career from 3.

Last edited 27 days ago by SunManFromDogBone
SunManFromDogBone

After watching players like Lively, Gafford, Reid, Townes and Gobert, does anybody here still think Miami can continue playing “small ball” with Bam at center and complete for a title. I do not.

2qbn

Wolves are down 2-0 to a Dallas team that is definitely not as big as the Wolves. Gafford is a lighter Zo in body comp. Niko is only about 15 pounds from being the same size as Gafford.

Is Boston big in the traditional sense? Porzingis is tall AF but he doesn’t play a big mans game. He pulls the big man out due to his outside shooting.

All that being said, I want the Heat to draft Ware, who is a frontcourt player. I do think we need to add there, but a guy like Ware who’s game lightly resembles Lopez, who had to learn a 3pt shot. That is why Reid is good. He has an outside shot, which is a must in modern NBA. The more guys on the floor that can shoot the better. That is why Boston will have a chance once Porzingis is back. As a Heat fan a Celtics v Mavs Finals is gross.

SunManFromDogBone

Niko is a finesse player. More of a SG or SF. He will never be a power forward like some of the NBA’s big boys. If Heat try to use him as one he will only get hurt. BTW, Isaiah Stewart shot 38.3% from 3 this past season and is 34.8% career from 3.

Heat should draft the best available center who can be developed to start alongside Bam in the future.

Last edited 27 days ago by SunManFromDogBone
Reality Czech

This is why I say we need both. While I agree on the names you point out, the other difference makers in these playoffs have been Luka, Ant, Brown, Halliburton, Brunson, SGA. Getting Dejounte Murray and one of the bigs we’ve talked about would put us right back in the mix. And it wouldn’t cost us the whole farm. They can’t afford to make the same mistake they made with Lillard last season. If there’s a deal for Mitchell that’s fair to both clubs, make it, if not, move on quickly before all valuable trade opportunities are gone.

Last edited 27 days ago by Reality Czech
SunManFromDogBone

I agree. Riley has to be proactive this summer. There are deals to be made. He just has to be willing to pull the trigger(s) before teams start bidding up players’ prices. In this environment, he who hesitates is lost!

Reality Czech

Maybe Bam wouldn’t have defended that shot either, but he would’ve had a better chance. Bam can guard 1-5 (mostly), Gobert is better in and near the paint. It’s what the dpoy voters fail to take into consideration.

Last edited 28 days ago by Reality Czech
Big_guy305

Bam definitely would of defended that better, gobert will forever be a liability in the playoffs. Also you’re right about dpoy voting, they don’t take enough into consideration. When they vote there preference is usually a rim protector that gets a lot of blocks. Hopefully gobert doesn’t get anymore DPOY’s because you play him off the floor in the playoffs .

ManilaHeat

Dunc would have shut Luka down completely 😁😜😄

HHHFAN4Life

Kyrie Luka too good for the wolves add to the fact the league wants a DAL BOS finals and it’s an uphill battle for the wolves and pacers. Neither team has a player that just takes it Ala Jimmy (at certain times in the postseason) Kobe mj then your fighting in a losing battle

Big_guy305

I don’t think the league cares if it’s mavs or wolves, I think the mavs just got more playoff experience. Both ant and Kat played like crap, Naz Reid had to carry them in the 4th, and gobert continues to be a liability in the playoffs. Furthermore you’re right about Luka and kyrie being too much for them. Luka and kyrie are offensively one the best backcourt duo’s all time like van gundy said. So mavs in 5 or 6.

Big_guy305

Wow Luka magic had gobert on skates sheesh 😳

Reality Czech

Unbelievable

ManilaHeat

It will be good to have HH back on right deal. As well as some but I think not the majority.

SunManFromDogBone
heat for life

needs to have the mike miller attitude let it fly.seems like he doubts himself at times.hes got the d down so he needs to improve his offense to be a 2 wayer

Big_guy305

Definitely should bring back LOCKSMITH at the right price. He was our third best defender, his 3pt shooting percentage went up albeit on a small volume. I think he can get better and he’s smack dab in his prime at 27 with that 7 foot wingspan. If we bring him back he needs work on being a better finisher, better handles, another go to move, not be so hesitant to shoot. Lastly I would like to see him shoot 5 – 8 3’s a game.

Quayzeze305

1.Rozier ,Castle (UConn),Wright
2.Jimmy,Richardson,Marshall
3.Trey Murphy,Fontecchio,Highsmith
4.Nikola,Kyle Anderson,Love
5.Adebayo,Drummond/Valuncinus,Johnson

I like Highsmith on the minimum.

There’s only a select few teams that maybe willing to trade for Herro,Duncan,and Rozier . This is without having to add an asset those in desperation mode. I.E. ( Pistons,Wizards) .

I think they should trade up for Stephon Castle at #5(detroit) and use that as an opportunity to move one of those 3. Doing this may spare trading Jaime or Nikola . Get the PG of the future that’s being compared to Jimmy .

Target in the trade market –

Gabe and Rui

Alex Caruso and Pat William

Trey Murphy or Herb Jones

Marcus Smart and #9 (Da Silvia or Cody Williams) depending on how the board falls

Target in free agency –

(S&T) Caleb for some cap relief
Kyle Anderson
Jonas Valuncunias
Andre Drummond
Naji Marshall
Doug McDermott
Yuta Watanabe
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Kelly Oubre
Russell Westbrook
Chris Paul

Resign
Kevin Love
Haywood Highsmith

I think the chasing a star would be the worse decision they can make get complementary players and rebalance the books for the trade deadline . For far too long dating back to our 2014 finals loss (* now 3 in a row) our 3-10 guys have been subpar playoff performers .

The most important of them all is how much does this front office over value Herro ,Robinson ,and Rozier contracts ? Until then we don’t really know how they’ll reconstruct it all they’ve clearly overvalued Herro and to a lesser degree Duncan .

38
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Scroll to Top