Mavericks chasing Haslem

The Dallas Mavericks are determined to make it difficult for free agent Udonis Haslem(notes) to easily return to the Miami Heat.

The Mavs have offered a contract believed to be a minimum of three years and $20 million, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Mavericks have offered Haslem their full mid-level exception starting at $5.85 million this season, a league source said.

The Heat are trying to re-sign Haslem to play with Dwyane Wade(notes), LeBron James(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes), but salary cap restraints could leave them with as little as $4.3 million a year to pay him. And that’s assuming the Heat signs free agent Mike Miller(notes) starting at $4.9 million.

Haslem, who made $7 million last season, has been a consistent defender and rebounder for the Heat, and president Pat Riley has been determined to keep him. He averaged 10 points and eight rebounds in seven seasons with Miami.

New Jersey has shown interest in Haslem but hasn’t made a formal offer. Haslem shares the same agent as Wade and Bosh, and has expressed a strong desire to return to the Heat.

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Updated Monday, Jul 12, 2010