Heat, Haywood Highsmith Agree to Two-Year, $11M Deal

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Miami Heat, Haywood Highsmith Agree to Two-Year, $11M Deal

The Miami Heat and free agent forward Haywood Highsmith agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal, his agent, Jerry Dianis, informed ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday.

Miami Heat forward Haywood Highsmith has two years fully guaranteed with no options in his new contract

The two years on the deal are fully guaranteed and include no options, according to reports. This is the largest NBA contract of Highsmith’s career. His new deal also prevents him from being traded until Dec. 15.

Highsmith, 27, went undrafted out of Wheeling University and had stints in the G League and overseas before landing a 10-day contract with the Heat in 2021 and then again in 2022.

Moreover, the 6-foot-7 forward played his way into a multi-year deal with Miami that just expired. He previously signed with the Crailsheim Merlins of the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) in 2020 and Vanoli Cremona of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA) in 2021.

In 144 career NBA games (38 starts), he has averaged 4.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 17.6 minutes per game. Plus, he has shot 44.3% from the floor, 36.8% from 3-point range, and 53.5% at the foul line.

Furthermore, Highsmith averaged career highs of 6.1 points, 1.1 assists, and 20.7 minutes per game this past season in 66 games (27 starts). He also shot career bests of 46.5% from the field, 39.6% from beyond the arc, and 63.9% at the line.

Highsmith posted a career-high 20 points, five 3-pointers over the Portland Trail Blazers on March 29

In Miami’s 142-82 blowout victory against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 29, he recorded a career-high 20 points on 7-of-9 (77.8%) shooting from the floor and a career-best five 3-pointers.

Additionally, he scored nine points in Game 2 of the Heat’s first-round series against the Boston Celtics.

“An organization like the Heat is the perfect organization for me because they’re known for putting players in their developmental system. They get the best out of them and put them in the right situations,” Highsmith told HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto in May.

“It’s been all about winning championships. That’s the top priority. They’re a team that’s always going to try to compete for a championship each year. You never hear anything about them tanking or none of that stuff.

“It feels like a family there. They’re going to tell you how it is. They’re not going to sugarcoat it. … Heat culture is real. I’ve been blessed to be a part of that for the past three years. … He’s [coach Erik Spoelstra] one of the best coaches in the NBA, for sure.

Per Wojnarowski, Highsmith had drawn interest from multiple teams around the league. However, he decided to stay with the franchise that developed him into an NBA player.

Highsmith’s return should help the Heat, considering the club recently lost Caleb Martin to the Philadelphia 76ers.