Wednesday , Jul , 13 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Heat re-sign Haslem to five-year deal

=== Heat re-sign Haslem to five-year deal ===

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – The Miami Heat reportedly reached an agreement
with forward Udonis Haslem on a five-year contract late Tuesday, retaining one
of the key players on last year’s squad which finished with the best record in
the Eastern Conference.

According to the Miami Herald, Haslem’s pact will be worth between $33 and $34
million, the maximum amount the Heat can offer him under league rules. The
Miami native was an unrestricted free agent and could have earned more if he
signed with another team, but his preference was to remain with his hometown
club.

Haslem has been a pleasant surprise in his two seasons with the Heat, who
signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2003 following a standout career at
the University of Florida. The 25-year-old was a second team All-Rookie
selection in 2003-04 after averaging 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds, then started
80 games last season and averaged 10.9 points and 9.1 rebounds. His 54 percent
field-goal percentage ranked fourth in the league this past year.

With Haslem’s signing completed, the Heat can now direct attention to their
highest offseason priority of finalizing a contract extension with center
Shaquille O’Neal.

Miami finished the 2004-05 season with a 59-23 record and was the top seed in
the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Heat lost to Detroit in seven games in
the conference finals.

MIA