How the 2023 NBA Finals rosters “Miami Heat” were built

May 31, 2023

With seven undrafted players, the Heat had one of the most unique lineups to reach the NBA Finals. This franchise has been built mainly through free agency signings, including Key players this postseason that started on two-way contracts and Key draft picks and traded over the past few years.


NBA Draft

Bam Adebayo: 14th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft

• Playoff stats: 35.6 minutes, 16.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks, 49.2 percent FGG, and 79.7 FT% in 18 games

The Heat selected the 6-foot-9 center from Kentucky with the Fourteen overall picks in the NBA Draft 2017, as the Wildcats had three lottery picks in the draft. Adebayo averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in his rookie season and 8.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in his sophomore year before becoming a full-time starter in his 3rd season with the Heat, which coincided with Miami’s Into the finals in the bubble. It’s also the first of four consecutive All-Defensive Second Team selections for Adebayo, which continues this season.

Tyler Herro: 13th pick, 2019 NBA Draft

• Playoff stats: 19.5 minutes per game, 12 points, two rebounds, two assists, one block, 55.6% FG%, 50% 3P

Two years after Adebayo’s draft from Kentucky with the final lottery pick, the Heat drafted guard Tyler Herro from Kentucky with the second-to-last pick (13th). After earning Kia Sixth Man of the Year honors last season, Herro rose to the starting job this season, averaging 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in 67 regular-season games. His postseason was cut when he broke his hand in Miami’s first playoff game against Milwaukee. Reports have suggested that Herro could return during the Finals, with Game 3 a potential target, which would be Miami’s first home game.


Nikola Jovic: No. 27 pick, 2022 NBA Draft

• Playoff stats: 2.1 mpg, 0.4 ppg, 0.8 RPG, 33.3 FG% in 5 games

The Heat’s most recent first-round pick appeared in just 15 games during his rookie season, averaging 5.5 points & 2.1 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game. He appeared in just five matches during the playoffs, with all his minutes coming as games went on.



Jimmy Butler: July 6, 2019, trades with 76ers, Trail Blazers, and Clippers

• Playoff stats: 39.3 points, 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.1 steals, 0.6 blocks per game. In 17 games, Butler shot 48.3% from the field, 35.6% from three-pointers, and 80.6% from free throws

The Heat acquired Butler from Philadelphia as part of a four-game trade involving the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers. Miami also received Meyers Leonard from Portland, and cash considerations from Los Angeles while sending Josh Richardson to Philadelphia and Hassan Whiteside to Portland, and in 2019 Sent a protected future first-round pick to Los Angeles on July 6. After his first six NBA seasons in Chicago, Butler spent the next two seasons in Minnesota and Philadelphia before finding the perfect cultural fit with the Heat in Miami. Butler has improved in the playoffs during his four seasons in Miami, winning the Larry Bird Trophy as the Eastern Conference Finals MVP, but has his sights set on bigger prizes.


Victor Oladipo: Traded with Rockets on March 25, 2021

• Playoff stats: 22.7 points, 11.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 52.6% FG, 40% 3P, 33.3% FT in 2 games

The Heat acquired Oladipo from the Houston Rockets on March 25, 2021, in exchange for Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, & a 2022 first-round pick swap. Oladipo’s time in Miami was limited due to injury, as he played in 50 regular-season games and 17 playoff games over the past two seasons. Oladipo suffered a knee injury late in Game 3 of their first-round series against Milwaukee and is, therefore, out for the remainder of the 2023 playoffs.


Kyle Lowry: Trade with Raptors on August 6, 2021

• Playoff stats: 25.2 minutes, 8.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.7 blocks, 42.5% FG%, 35.5% 3P, and 91.7 % free throw percentage

The Heat acquired the veteran point guard from the Raptors on August 6, 2021, in exchange for Precious Achiuwa and Goran Dragic. Lowry brings a wealth of playoff experience to the Heat, with only Udonis Haslem (148) making more postseason appearances than Lowry (125). After playing 11 regular-season games for the Heat over the past two seasons, Lowry has transitioned into a key player off the bench in 17 of 18 games this postseason.


Two-Way Contract

Duncan Robinson: Signed a two-way contract on July 10, 2018

• Playoff stats: 18.0 minutes, 9.3 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.4 steals, 2.3 3-pointers, 46.9% FG%, 44.6% 3-pointers in 18 games, 100% free throw percentage

Robinson is the first of three Important players to join the Heat on a two-way contract in the playoffs this season. Robinson was undrafted in college in 2018 but signed a two-way contract with Miami on July 10, 2018, and eventually signed a standard NBA contract on April 9, 2019. After being out of the rotation for most of the season, Robinson has stepped up in the absence of Herro and Oladipo this postseason.


Gabe Vincent: Two-way contract signed on January 8, 2020

• Playoff stats: 31.2 minutes, 13.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.4 3-pointers, 40.8% FG%, 39% 3-pointers in 17 games, 89.3% free throw percentage

Vincent also fell out of college in 2018 and came to the Heat on January 8, 2020, on a two-way contract. After playing very little during the 2020 Miami Finals, Vincent got more minutes over the next two seasons. After starting half of the 68 regular-season games this season, Vincent has been a full-time starter in the playoffs, ranking fourth in scoring (13.1 points per game) and third in assists (3.9 assists per game); the No. 1 player in 3-pointers made (2.4 3s per game) represents Miami on this trip to the Finals.


Caleb Martin: Signed two-way contract on September 14, 2021

• Playoff stats: 30.7 points per game, 14.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 2.2 3s, 56.6% FGm, 43.8% 3P, 81.8% FT in 18 games

Undrafted in college in 2019, Martin began his NBA career that same year with a 10-day stint with the Charlotte Hornets. That turned into a two-way contract and eventually a multi-year deal with Charlotte. After being waived by the Hornets in 2021, he joined the Heat with two-way contact in September 2021, converted his contract to a standard contract in February 2022, and re-signed with Miami in the summer. After averaging 9.6 points per game in the regular season, Martin improved his play in the playoffs, averaging 14.1 points while shooting 57% from the field & 44% from three-point range. Against Boston in the Eastern Conference finals, Martin averaged 19.3 points on 60 percent shooting from the field & 49% from 3-point range, and 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists.


Orlando Robinson: Two-way contract signed on December 11, 2022

• Playoff stats: Players on two-way contracts are ineligible for the playoffs

Robinson signed a two-way contract with the Miami Heat on December 11, 2022. He appeared in 31 games for the Heat (3.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game) and six for the Sioux Falls Skyforce (18.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game and 28.6 mpg).


Free Agency

Udonis Haslem: Signed as a free agent on August 6, 2003

• Playoff stats: 2.5 minutes, 0 points, one rebound in 1 game

It was Miami’s seventh trip to the NBA Finals since 2006, the most of any team in that period, and Haslem was always there. Haslem was undrafted after graduating from college in 2002. As part of the Heat’s roster, Haslem signed with the Miami Heat as a free agent on August 6, 2003, after playing for France during the 2002-03 season. , is about to end his career—20th and final season in Miami.


Max Strus: Signed as a free agent on November 30, 2020

• Playoff stats: 29.0 points, 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.4 steals, 2.1 3s, 45.2% FG, 35.9% 3P, 81% FT in 18 games

Struse was undrafted out of college in 2019 but signed two-way contracts with Boston and Chicago, played two seasons with the Bulls in 2019-20 before signing with the Heat as a free agent in November 2020. games. A month later, he became a two-way player, and Struth finally got his standard NBA contract in August 2021. This season, Struth is averaging career highs in points (11.5) and rebounds (3.2). Assists (2.1), steals (0.5), and minutes (28.4) while starting 33 of 80 regular-season games. He started full-time the past two postseasons and averaged 10.3 points on 45 percent shooting in this year’s Finals.


Omer Yurtseven: Signed as a free agent on May 14, 2021

• Playoff stats: 2.3 mpg, 0.4 ppg, 0.8 RPG, 33.3 FG% in 5 games

Yurtseven, another Heat player who fell out of college in 2020, signed his first contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder in October 2020 before being cut during training camp. He signed with the Heat as a free agent on May 14, 2021. After appearing in 56 games last season, Yurtseven has played just nine regular-season games this season and five in the playoffs in limited minutes.


Haywood Highsmith: Signed as a free agent on December 30, 2021

• Playoff stats: 9.7 minutes, 3.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 58.6 percent shooting, 50 percent three-pointers, 66.7 percent free throws in 13 games Rate

Highsmith is the third Heat player to be undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft after Robinson and Vincent. Highsmith signed with Philadelphia in January 2019 and played five games with the Sixers in 2018-19 before being cut. He signed his first 10-day contract with Miami in December 2021, then received a standard contract in March 2022. Highsmith appeared in 54 games for the Heat during the regular season, averaging 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 18 minutes per game. He played in 13 games during the Finals, averaging less than 10 minutes per game.


Jamal Cain: Signed as a free agent on July 15, 2022

• Playoff stats: Players on two-way contracts are ineligible for the playoffs

Cain is the latest undrafted player in the 2022 draft class. Cain’s contract converted to a two-way contract on July 15, 2022. He has played in the Heat (18 games, 5.4 points, and 2.9 rebounds in 13.3 minutes) and the Skyforce (15 games this season, 22.1 points, and 9.1 rebounds in 33.5 minutes.


Kevin Love: Signed as a free agent on February 20, 2023

• Playoff stats: 18.0 minutes, 6.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 1.6 3s, 37.9% FGG, 36.8% 3-pointers, 86.7% over 16 games free throw percentage

When the Cleveland Cavaliers bought out Kevin Love’s contract, the Heat signed the veteran forward as a free agent on February 20, 2023. Love is one of three Miami players to win an NBA title (with Cleveland in 2016), the others being Lowry (with Toronto in 2019) and Haslem (in 2006, ’12, and ’13 with Miami ). Love averaged 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game in the Heat’s 21 regular-season games and nearly matched those numbers in the playoffs: 6.9 points and 5.8 rebounds in 18 minutes.


Cody Zeller: Signed as a free agent on February 20, 2023

• Playoff stats: 9.2 minutes, 2.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.2 blocks, 58.1 percent shooting, and 40 percent free-throw shooting in 16 games

In addition to signing Love, the Heat signed veteran center Cody Zeller as a free agent on February 20. Zeller averaged 14.4 minutes per game in 15 games during the regular season, scoring 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds. He appeared in 16 playoff games, averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game.