Udonis Haslem will not be left out of the party.
The Miami Heat mainstay who seemingly was about to be left out of the franchise's return to its heyday, appears to be on the verge of a free-agent return after some late maneuvering by Heat President Pat Riley.
In a significant turn of events, the Heat completed a sign-and-trade agreement Friday night with the Cleveland Cavaliers for free-agent forward LeBron James, who already had agreed to join the Heat
The maneuver offered Riley the flexibility to re-sign Haslem. An NBA source said Friday the expectation was Haslem would now return to the Heat.
The Heat also plans to add Washington Wizards free-agent swingman Mike Miller. The Heat is expected to sign the former University of Florida standout to a contract in the five-year, $30 million range.
In essence, the Heat is completing its end game.
The Heat also finished off a sign-and-trade agreement Friday with the Toronto Raptors that allowed it to give free-agent power forward Chris Bosh a six-year free-agent contract instead of the maximum five-year contract an outside free agent can receive. The Raptors, in turn, will receive the Heat's 2011 first-round pick and the future pick that Toronto owed to the Heat.
The Raptors also received a trade exception of roughly $15 million.
With the sign-and-trade with Cleveland, James also received a six-year package, instead of the maximum five-year deal an outside free agent could receive. The Cavaliers also would receive a $15 million trade exception, in addition to a package of future Heat draft picks that has been reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as likely being two first-round picks and two second-round picks.
The arrangements allow Bosh, James and re-signed Heat free-agent guard Dwyane Wade to each receive similar six-year contracts starting just below the league maximum of $16.6 million for next season.
The Heat then turned its attention to retaining Haslem. The Heat entered Friday able to only offer Haslem a veteran-minimum 2010-11 contract of $1.1 million. The Heat then could have made up the money to Haslem in 2011-12 and beyond.
However, with Bosh and James acquired by sign-and-trade agreements, wiggle room was created for a Haslem return.
Haslem has had contact with several teams, with the Utah Jazz emerging as a suitor in the wake of losing free-agent power forward Carlos Boozer to the Chicago Bulls.
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Orlando Magic free-agent forward Matt Barnes said he has been in contact with the Heat. Barnes earned $1.6 million last season, opting out of the $1.6 million he otherwise would have earned this coming season.
Other names linked to the Heat are free-agent guards Jason Williams and Mike James, and Cavaliers free-agent center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
ESPN is reporting Riley also has a meeting scheduled with Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher, although the finances would not appear to work. It is, however, a sign of league-wide interest in the Heat's new high-powered trio.