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LeBron James, Paul George, Klay Thompson, Isaiah Hartenstein


LeBron James, Paul George, Klay Thompson, Isaiah Hartenstein


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Haywood Highsmith is expected to become a sought-after free agent on the market, given his 3-and-D skill set as a lockdown perimeter defender with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and shooting 40 percent beyond the arc last season. 

The Miami Heat have already spoken with their free agent forward Highsmith and his agent, Jerry Dianis, about the possibility of a return, per the Miami Herald. However, Miami is expected to have stiff competition for Highsmith’s services on the open market. 

Teams with significant cap space, including the Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs, and Philadelphia 76ers, are expected to register interest in Highsmith once free agency begins, league sources told HoopsHype. 

The Hornets will attempt to re-sign forward Miles Bridges, and the 76ers are prioritizing the free agency recruitment of Paul George, with any player after that on their board on hold. 

Several teams with non-taxpayer mid-level exceptions available, such as the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and potentially the Golden State Warriors depending on the futures of Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, and Andrew Wiggins are also expected to show interest in pursuing Highsmith, league sources told HoopsHype. 

Given the expected interest in Highsmith, his free agency value could land him as much as the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, around $13 million. Previously, ESPN’s Bobby Marks projected Highsmith in the $8-10 million annual range.  

For more on Highsmith, check out his appearance on The HoopsHype Podcast, where he discussed his journey from a D-II Player of the Year to NBA player, Heat Culture, Erik Spoelstra, the top players he’s guarded, his upcoming free agency, and more by clicking here

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