May this be a sign that Miami has given up strengthening their depth at the wing position, and perhaps even their pursuit of Jimmy Butler. According to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Roc Nation, representing Justise Winslow best interests, managed to secure their client a three-year extension with the Miami Heat. Winslow, whose skill development has not progressed as the Miami Heat would have hoped after being selected in the lottery portion of the 2015 draft, did enough to convince his employers of his potential as he enters the final team-controlled years of restricted free agency.
The 22-year old pivot is nonetheless coming off his strongest year to date, having posted season averages of 11.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals per 36 minutes played. Winslow was also able to able to increase both his shot output and efficiency from beyond the 3-point line.
Winslow’s 3-year extension adds to an increasingly bloated salary cap situation for a team many consider a bubble-team at best. The Miami Heat, with Pat Riley managing the cap, have $135 million committed to ten players entering the 2019-2020 season (year after next). Justise’s new deal will pay him an annual rate of $13 million, a figure many consider he has yet to earn in his steady but unexceptional NBA career to date.