Dwyane Wade and his potential move to China has recently been the main focus of attention in the Miami Heat’s current offseason activity. However, an equally important, yet less talked about area of concern is forward Justice Winslow’s contract, which is set to expire next year.
Addressing the media Friday night, Heat president Pat Riley discussed the team’s current state. One of the topics covered was that of Winslow’s deal, which will see the 22-year-old become a restricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season.
“Asked whether he has decided whether to make a multiyear offer to Justise Winslow by the mid-October deadline – instead of waiting for him to become a restricted free agent next summer – Riley said: ‘We have been in conversation with his agent,” per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Justise has been working very hard this summer, as he always does…. We are going to address that probably in late August, once everything dies down. We look at Justise as one of our anchor pieces. We will have that extension discussion probably in late August. We don’t have to do anything until mid October so we will just see what happens.”
Winslow has not exactly been a game-changer for the Heat since he was drafted by the organization 10th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. In his three years in Miami, the former Duke standout has averaged a mediocre 7.5 points, 0.7 3-pointers, 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks in 27.7 minutes per contest.
Nonetheless, he has played a critical role for the team to the extent that the Heat are already looking into the possibility of offering him an extended deal this early.
Riley and the Miami front office will want to get this deal done as soon as they can, with other more pressing matters on the horizon. Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson are all under contract until the 2019-20 season, but all three will have a player option that year.