Report: Haywood Highsmith has a lot of interest around league as free agent

Haywood Highsmith
After making $1.9 million last year, Haywood Highsmith is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. (Brandon Dill/AP Photo)

The Miami Heat have a plethora of important roster decisions to make this summer, including what happens with forward Haywood Highsmith.

Highsmith, 27, is coming off a three-year deal he signed with Miami during the 2021-22 season, when he appeared in just 19 games. He has been open about wanting to return to Miami, who own his bird rights. Though according to NBA reporter, Highsmith could garner plenty of interest around the league.

“I would say Haywood (Highsmith) has a lot of interest from teams around the league because of the prototype that he fits, which is a 3-and-D guy,” Michael Scotto of HoopsHype told Wes Goldberg and David Ramil of Locked On Heat Friday. “(He) shot 40 percent from 3, which is a high watermark for teams around the league. Defensively, you guys know in Miami, being ‘The Locksmith.’

“His wingspan at 7-foot-1 allows him to guard some of the best players in the league, whether it’s Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown–who they’ve gone up against a bunch–and even Jalen Brunson on the Knicks. He’s always guarding the top perimeter player. And in a league where there hasn’t been as much of an emphasis on defense, you need guys like that to win.”

 

Highsmith had a career-best season with the Heat last year, averaging 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds, shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and 39.6 percent from 3-point range on 2.9 long-range attempts per game. He even opened up on his career season with Scotto in an exclusive interview earlier this month, going into detail about what it all meant for him despite the team’s success not always following.

“I just wanted to prove that I’m a player who can play in this league for years to come,” he said“I’m an elite defender. I work on my game a lot. You can see that I’ve put in a lot of work. My 3-point percentage went up, and I had career-highs in points per game and shooting percentage. I feel like with my role in this league, I can be an elite 3-and-D player. But I’m not just limiting myself to that. I can also get to the cup, a floater, and different types of finishes, working the baseline with cuts while playing off the ball.”

Highsmith improved to 40.3 percent from deep on spot-up attempts, marks that were better than sharpshooter Duncan Robinson, Terry Rozier, Nikola Jovic and Josh Richardson, among others. He’s not worried about the money like most free agents, though that may not stop another team from throwing a decent portion of the mid-level exception–currently projected to be worth about $12.9 million–at him.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but was one of Miami’s best point-of-attack defenders a year ago, which was a low bar. But that didn’t always stop him from making winning plays defensively, in addition to hunting rebounds on the offensive glass and roaming the baseline off-ball as well as anyone could ask for.

He’s not the perfect player, but in a certain situation, he can definitely be a winning player–which is the only thing that Highsmith wants to be.

“I proved I could defend and space the floor at a high level while playing off superstars like Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo,” he told Scotto in mid-May. “I was trying to prove that I belong and can add value to teams in different ways with my defense, shooting, and whatever the team needs from me.”

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oregoner

The mid-level is roughly $13 million per season. If the Locksmith can get a three year contract for $50 million dollars, than I think it’s in everyone’s best interest for him to take it. I’ll be rooting for him. I’m sure I’m not the first one to compare him to Airplane Mode, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s starting for a title team wherever he ends up.

But if that kind of money isn’t there for him, I hope the Heat can bring him back for a contract that is somewhere between the mid-level and the minimum. Something like the Caleb Martin contract of 3 years $20 million. I really like rooting for that guy, and would love to see him in a Heat uni again next year.

Reality Czech

Interesting tidbit from SS:
”NUMBER4. Teams that have made it to the NBA Finals in the 2000s, 2010s and 2020s. with the Mavericks now joining the Heat, Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavericks’ lone previous two Finals appearances were against the Heat in 2006 (Heat title) and 2011 (Mavericks title). Dallas coach Jason Kidd was a Mavericks guard when Dallas won the franchise’s lone championship.”

Big_guy305

Panthers back in the finals baby!

Reality Czech

YAY!!!!!!!!!

SunManFromDogBone

Highsmith deserves whatever he can get. He’s earned it. The Miami farm system continues providing rotation players to the NBA.

Big_guy305

I agree, and even if he’s gone, we got Cain to take his spot next.

SunManFromDogBone

I like Cain. He needs to improve his 3 point shooting like Highsmith did to get a multi-year contract. His defense is good.

Big_guy305

I think it will surely improve, he shot 35.5 percent from 3 off limited attempts, I think he just needs more pt, so he can have more volume. I still remember when he guarded curry, he did a decent job on him, so his D definitely is good.

Last edited 20 days ago by Big_guy305
Reality Czech

The Heat farm system is the best in the league. I’m sure that the scouts and management are analyzing all players in the 50-75 range looking for potential diamonds in the rough along with small schools across the country. DJJ is having a solid postseason, and not just because he’s playing with Doncic and Irving. Vincent earning $11 million a year, Strus $16 million.

vagibugi

DJJ is great. There is a real chance to win a title, as a starter in great team.
Amazing.

HHHFAN4Life

Let the sports media/talking heads tell it now don’t have assets or not good assets

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