The Miami Heat ensured one key member of the team's back-to-back NBA championship runs will return next season by exercising the option on guard Mario Chalmers' contract for the 2013-14 campaign.
The move was entirely expected. Chalmers has served as the Heat's starting point guard in each of the past two seasons, both of which resulted in league titles, and is slated to earn an affordable $4 million in 2013-14 before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Chalmers has spent his entire five-year career with the Heat, who acquired the Kansas product in a draft-night trade with Minnesota after being selected in the second round (34th overall) in 2008. The 27-year-old has averaged 8.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists while starting 273 out of 366 games.
He made 77 starts during the 2012-13 regular season and averaged 8.6 points, 3.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals. Chalmers also ranked 25th in the NBA with a 40.9 shooting percentage from 3-point range this past season, and tied a club record by making 10 treys in a win at Sacramento on Jan. 12.