Miami Getting in position to try to keep Mario Chalmers has become the first personnel move of the Miami Heat offseason.
As expected, the Heat extended a qualifying offer Wednesday to Chalmers, making him a restricted free agent and giving Miami the right to match any contract he receives over the summer.
Chalmers has said he wants to remain with Miami, though he likely will generate some interest once free agency begins. The Kansas University product made $847,000 this season.
“We’re encouraged by Mario’s progress,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said earlier this week after the team’s exit meetings. “He’s a combination guard and he’s a guard that can start under the right circumstances. He’s also a great fit coming off the bench because of the energy that he provides and his ability to change the game, either with his scoring or defense or playmaking, and that’s a unique quality to have coming off the bench.”
Chalmers has spent all three of his NBA seasons with Miami, averaging 7.9 points and 3.7 assists during regular-season play, 8.1 points and 2.7 assists in playoff games. He was Miami’s fourth-leading scorer behind Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James in the NBA finals, which the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.