Newws now: Indiana Hoosiers officially signed a contract with super eagles

Full contract details: Kel’el Ware inks rookie deal with Miami Heat

Former Indiana basketball standout and first-round NBA Draft pick Kel’el Ware has officially signed his rookie contract with the Miami Heat. According to, Ware inked a four-year, $22.5 million deal with the Heat, which is on par with the rookie scale for the 15th overall draft selection.

Ware’s average salary over the four seasons is roughly $5.6 million per year, with $9.5 million guaranteed at signing. The 7-foot center is set to make $4.6 million in the 2024-25 season, $4.8 million in the 2025-26 season, $5.1 million in the 2026-27 season and $7.8 million in the 2027-28 season. The first two seasons are guaranteed while the final two seasons are club options. If Ware remains with the Heat for all four years, he will become a restricted free agent prior to the 2028-29 season.

Ware’s contract currently makes him the sixth-highest paid Heat player, ahead of teammates Jaime Jaquez Jr., Nikola Jovic, Kevin Love and others. Multi-time All-Stars Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, and guards Tyler Herro, Terry Rozier and Duncan Robinson make up a majority of Miami’s payroll for the 2024-25 season and beyond.

In his lone season at Indiana, Ware was named second-team All-Big Ten after averaging a team-high 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He became just the third Hoosier in the last 25 seasons to average at least 15.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in a single season, along with D.J. White and Jackson-Davis. Ware also shot 58.6 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from the 3-point line.

“Kel’el is a three-and-D center,” Heat executive Adam Simon said on draft night. “It is not easy to find 7-footers that can play out on the perimeter offensively and also be able to defend with his ability to shot-block and defend the post. For us, that was very appealing. He’s gonna give us versatility on both ends and his skill set fits us. The things he does well are things that coach (Spoelstra) is going to be able to use. I think it’s a great fit — be able to block shots, defend the rim, shoot threes, he’s got a great touch in the post. I think his skill set will be great to play with Bam and as well as when Bam’s off the court.”

Ware is Indiana’s third NBA Draft pick in the last two years, joining Los Angeles Lakers guard Jalen Hood-Schifino and Golden State Warriors center Trayce Jackson-Davis. The North Little Rock, Ark., native is the 28th former IU player to be selected in the first round, alongside the likes of Hoosier legends Walt Bellamy, Kent Benson, Scott May, Isiah Thomas, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Eric Gordon, Calbert Cheaney, Quinn Buckner, Mike Woodson, Jared Jeffries and several more.

“All of them are hardworking. They push their players past their limits,” Ware said about the Heat organization. “I feel like that’s the best place for me. Especially with me going there, I know they are going to push me past my limits, push me past that wall to be the best player that I can be and compete.”

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