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4 best players Heat must re-sign in 2024 NBA Offseason

As it is every single season with the Miami Heat, they are entering into another 0ff-season where the sole goal is to bolster the roster so they can get back to their championship aspirations. However, besides trading for or acquiring a star player which they are looking to do in the summer, they also have a checklist of players they would like to re-sign and stay on the Heat.

While it’s very important for Pat Riley and the rest of the front office to obtain a difference maker-level player like Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell, they have to somewhat keep the foundation together to keep that level of winning consistency that has been providing success. The players that Miami needs to re-sign this off-season come from a mixture of players that are entering in free agency and also some that are eligible to receive a contract extension, which has been a topic of conversation involving one star.

However, while the team has had success in getting far in the postseason, having two NBA Finals appearances in the last five seasons, they are trying to get over the hump and win their first championship since 2013. Trying to improve off back to back eighth seed finishes and a 46-36 record, here are four players the Heat should significantly think about signing this off-season.

Solving the Jimmy Butler contract discussion

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dribbles the ball past Philadelphia 76ers guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the second quarter of a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For me, this is pretty simple in terms of star Jimmy Butler and the report from The Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang that he’s seeking a two-year contract extension “worth about $113 million from the Heat this offseason, according to a league source.” Since being acquired in a sign-and-trade back in July of 2019, Butler has been instrumental to the past success of Miami, but has yet to reach over the hump.

This could be equated to the Heat not giving him the help around him in terms of another star, but there are a lot of variables that go into that discussion. There has been a ton of conversation and rumors recently about the possible split between Butler and the Heat as recently written by David Aldridge of The Athletic.

“But there have been murmurings this year that Butler and the Heat may no longer be singing from the same hymnal,” Alridgre wrote. “Butler, famously, does things his way, and Miami’s organization, famously, does not brook much individualism. To be sure, Miami doesn’t mind the uncomfortable feelings a player of Butler’s caliber can create in search of championships, but Heat Culture has parameters and expectations.”

So, going back to the beginning, it’s pretty simple, sign Butler and build around from there. Essentially, the contract he does want would give him around a $5 million raise next season and then $56.5 million the season after. There have been too many times when an all-time Heat player would end off not in the best terms, most notably with Dwyane Wade and his first stint, though it inevitably got rectified later.

What Butler has been up to

There will obviously be some negotiation in terms of the extension as there should be, but this is something the team should handle now and lock up a player that has given the team an abundance of success besides ranking high on franchise records. If anything, it seems like he wants to stay looking at recent quotes of him at the F1 Grand Prix saying he loves the city of Miami, plus making an appearance at an Inter Miami soccer game.

No doubt the confidence is still there as he just mentioned that if he was playing during the Heat’s last stint in the postseason, the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks would be watching the playoffs from their homes.

“If I was playing, Boston would be at home,” Butler said. “New York damn sure would be f–king at home. F–k that mean to me? Josh Hart? C’mon man,” said Butler, a six-time All-Star who played for Thibodeau with the Bulls and Timberwolves. “I love Thibs, but I don’t want Thibs. Thibs, I love you baby, but I want to beat you to a pulp. You want me. I don’t want you. It’s like a one-sided relationship. You in love with me and I love you but I’m not in love with you, you know what I’m saying.”

Butler looks to be at full health come next season as he is currently recovering from an MCL sprain suffered in the first play-in tournament game to the Philadelphia 76ers, knocking him out for the rest of the playoffs.

Bam Adebayo also eligible for contract extension

Along with Butler, it is key for Heat star Bam Adebayo to stay with the team long-term as he’s one of the best defenders in the entire association besides his improvement in offense every season. One could argue that it’s more important to sign Adebayo to a contract extension since he’s currently in the young stages of his prime at 26-years old.

It is unknown at the moment how much the extension could be as it depends on the honors Adebayo is up for getting. He is eligible to sign a four-year, $245 million supermax contract if he meets the criteria which is either winning Defensive Player of the Year or being on an All-NBA team whether it’s the first, second, or third team. For the former, he’s a finalist alongside Minnesota Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert and San Antonio Spurs Victor Wembanyama.

If he doesn’t meet those criteria, he will be eligible for a three-year contract worth $165 million, as any extension would start in the 2026-27 season. Either way, he has been one of the key foundations for the Heat’s success along with Butler and should no doubt be re-signed. Fans are just hoping that to acquire another star, they wouldn’t have to trade for Butler or Adebayo.

Caleb Martin’s contract a question for Miami

A player that has been known as the Heat’s “X factor” is Caleb Martin who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. However, this is one aspect of the team’s roster that is an unknown in terms of it being not certain if Martin will come back since his stock is pretty high due to the last few seasons with Miami, though he expressed he’d want to come back Friday.

“Everybody knows I want to be here. I make that known,” Martin said. “That’s my goal is to be able to stay here, make it work. I want to be here as long as possible and for them to want me to come back. That’s my main goal.”

Martin prepares for the summer

The problem here is, looking at that the Heat should re-sign Butler and Adebayo, plus possibly bringing in another big star’s contract, Martin could be too expensive especially if other teams are willing to spend big. Looking at the big contracts players like Max Strus and Gabe Vincent got last season, Martin could be next in line. If he were willing to sacrifice fit for money, he could once again be an integral rotational piece for the team.

“Obviously since I’ve been here, this is the first time we’ve been done early,” Martin said to ClutchPoints. “So everybody wants to work until you get it, but you don’t really realize the sacrifice you take when getting more time off and that means you’re in early and not playing as long as you want to. I just think you take that and it hits everybody a little bit different. But I think if I approach the summer and approach next year in a way to where they want to get you to keep playing. It starts in the summer and it starts all throughout the regular season to put ourselves in a position to be able to find a way to play later so I think that’ll be the approach all of us have moving forward.”

Haywood Highsmith an underrated option to re-sign with Heat

Depending on how the other transactions go for the Heat, it could come down to the decision between Martin and star Haywood Highsmith. Ultimately, it could be the latter since it is expected that he will be cheaper, though there could be interest when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

One of Miami’s diamonds in the rough, Highsmith has become a defensive stalwart for the team and has provided some production to the offense from the three-point line and in the paint. He also has very much so expressed that he wants to stay with the Heat as the main motivation for him being his daughter.

“I definitely want to stay in Miami. I love being here. My family lives here, my daughter lives here,” Highsmith said Friday afternoon during the team’s exit interviews. “So that’s a big priority for me, just to be around my daughter a lot. But I just got to figure it out and just take my time and understand it’s going to work itself out and everything happens for a reason.”

While getting a “whale” of a star is significant for the Heat, they also need to keep in the back of their heads that re-signing most of these players mentioned are important. There’s no doubt that getting knocked out in the first round by a rival in the Celtics has fueled their fire.