Heat strike out on Fisher, land Haslem

April 12, 2010: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) talking things over with Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem (40) while time is called during the NBA game between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Heat beat the 76ers, 107-105.

In his quest to build a solid bench to support the Super Friends, Pat Riley got both the good and bad end of loyalty. Derek Fisher spurned his advances and decided to stay in L.A., while Udonis Haslem took less money to stay in Miami.

First up, Fisher…

“I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles,” Fisher said in a statement on his website. “While this may not be the most lucrative contract I’ve been offered this offseason, it is the most valuable. I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin.”

“Kobe Bryant asked me to stay but supported whatever decision I made. He and I have played together for 11 seasons, came into the league together as kids, and has been loyal to me even when others had doubts. We have won five championships together.”

As for Haslem…

Shortly after ESPN.com reported Monday that the Denver Nuggets had joined the Dallas Mavericks in the bidding with a strong offer, Haslem sent an e-mail to the Sun-Sentinel reading: “Turned down full mid level from Dallas and Denver. See u next season.”

But every team that showed interest in Haslem in recent days did so with pessimism that he could be lured away from Miami, given his strong ties to the area and a close relationship with Wade. The Heat are trying to divide their remaining salary cap space between Haslem and sharpshooter Mike Miller.

Team president Pat Riley has often said that he wants Haslem to be a Heat lifer, such is the regard for the gritty forward’s contributions to Miami’s title team in 2006.

Even with missing out on Fisher, if the Heat can land Miller and Haslem, they will be well on their way to building a solid bench.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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