MIAMI — Concerns about the Miami Heat’s size for competing against top contenders can now be answered in terms of quantity. A week after drafting 7-footer Kel’el Ware from Indiana in the first round of the NBA draft, the Heat agreed on Wednesday to re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a one-year contract at the NBA veteran minimum.

Over the weekend, Bryant opted out of the second year of the two-year contract he signed with the Heat last summer. By opting out of the $2.8 million option year and re-signing on a one-year, $2.8 million deal, the Heat reduced their salary cap hit by about $800,000 for the 2024-25 season.

Heat president Pat Riley praised Bryant’s 6-10, 255-pound frame when adding him from the Denver Nuggets last summer, citing the need for size after losing 4-1 to Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Finals. However, Bryant was eventually moved out of the rotation in favor of veteran power forward Kevin Love, who shifted to a floor-spacing backup center role.

Miami Heat's Thomas Bryant during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 18, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Love recently agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract to stay with the Heat. With Adebayo, Love, Ware, and 6-foot-10 Nikola Jovic, who finished last season as the Heat’s starting power forward, it might signal the end of Orlando Robinson’s time with the team. Robinson has a July 15 guarantee date for his $2.1 million 2024-25 minimum-scale salary, but teams can delay such guarantee deadlines if both parties agree.

Despite limited playing time, Bryant expressed a desire to return at the season’s end, seeing his year as a significant learning experience. He spoke positively about his time with the Heat, highlighting his daily improvements since training camp and understanding the decisions made by the coaching staff.

Riley acknowledged the need to address size and interior presence following their struggle against Jokic and the Nuggets. Although Bryant was expected to be a stretch big man, his impact was limited, averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game across 38 appearances, with a 4 of 22 record on 3-pointers. Nevertheless, Bryant remained a positive presence both on the bench and in the locker room, even drawing an NBA suspension for standing up for teammates during a brawl against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Heat have made no other personnel additions this offseason beyond drafting Ware and second-round pick Pelle Larsson, a guard from Arizona. Currently, the Heat have 13 players on standard contracts, including Bryant, Love, Adebayo, Jovic, Jimmy Butler, Josh Richardson, Tyler Herro, Terry Rozier, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Duncan Robinson, Orlando Robinson, Ware, and Larsson. Teams are limited to 15 players on standard contracts during the regular season, with the Heat often opting for 14 to save on the luxury tax.

Additionally, teams can carry up to three players on two-way contracts, who receive half the minimum standard salary and are limited to 50 of the 82 regular-season games on the active roster. The Heat’s current two-way players are veteran guard Dru Smith, undrafted Florida guard Zyon Pullin, and undrafted Arizona forward Keshard Johnson.