REPORT: Haywood Highsmith and the Miami Heat with ‘mutual interest’ to return in free agency

Highsmith, one of the team’s top perimeter defenders, is set to hit unrestricted free agency.

The Miami Heat have a pair of strong perimeter defenders set to hit unrestricted free agency in the coming days; Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith. Although Martin is aiming for a payday that exceeds the Heat’s budget, Highsmith will be available as a more affordable re-signing.

The fourth-year undrafted player saw himself in an expanded role in coach Erik Spoelstra’s rotation this past season. Highsmith became a key piece as an elite point of attack defender on the wings. He sported season averages of 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists on 46.5% shooting, 39.6% from 3-point range.

His efficiency from beyond the arc was a career-high.

While it has not yet been finalized, the Heat and Highsmith have mutual interest in a return, per Antony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

“According to league sources, since NBA teams were allowed to begin negotiating with their own impending free agents on June 18, there have already been discussions between the Heat and Haywood Highsmith regarding a potential new contract.” (Chiang)

Considering that Miami is likely to lose Martin similarly to the Gabe Vincent/Max Strus situations, retaining Highsmith would be huge. The organization invested development time in these players, and if they can hold onto at least one, Highsmith would be deemed the most fair in contract negotiations.

This is a ‘3 and D’ player that has a PJ Tucker-type mold to his game. He isn’t afraid to guard the opposing team’s top perimeter player and had glimpses of elite defensive abilities in that department. The first sign of his potential on this end of the floor came two seasons ago, where Highsmith held Boston Celtic’s Jayson Tatum to 2/14 shooting during their regular season matchups.

Highsmith‘s agent, Jerry Dianis, had a lot of things to say on that stance prior to the beginning of this year’s free agency.

“Haywood will be a perennial All-Defensive player going forward. What’s really special about him is his versatility. His size, strength and 7-foot-1 wingspan allow him to guard one through five. Rudy Gobert is the Defensive Player of the Year, but he can’t guard Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving or Paolo Banchero. Haywood does that and it gives a Hall of Fame coach like Erik Spoelstra a big advantage.” – Dianis (per NBA Central/X)

ESPN’s Bobby Marks, an ESPN front office insider, told the Miami Herald that he expects Highsmith to get in the $8 million to $10 million range per season. That kind of money would essentially replace Martin’s roughly $7 million season salary.

Although if there is mutual interest to get a deal done here, maybe Highsmith would consider a slight discounted deal to help improve the rest of the roster.


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Reality Czech

Things are looking up for our favorite team


Lock up Locksmith. He can guard wings like a boss.

heat for life

He can def guard.Needs to try to score,not shy away from scoring.Hes got the capability to score.Just shoot more,drive more.


double rec for the Locksmith

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