Dwyane Wade has been a Miami Heat player since the team drafted him #5 overall in 2003, but last off-season, the rumors were swirling around the star shooting guard about him joining the Lakers or the Cavaliers, but it never happened, as Wade signed a 1-year $20 million deal with Miami.
Last off-season was the most I have seen Heat fans panic about Wade’s future in Miami since 2010, when the Big 3 was formed and Wade was meeting with the Bulls and Knicks. It sounded like he was nearly gone before he re-signed with the Heat on a six-year $107 million deal that included an early opt-out.
Miami has always been a second home for Wade, who is from Chicago, Illinois, and after the drama of last summer, Wade is hoping for a relatively easy free agency period this time, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
“The whole free agency thing, I didn’t want to be in it last summer; I don’t want to be in it this summer,” Wade said. “I don’t want to be on the market at all…. I’m not curious at all. I want to get to it [with the Heat]. I want to be able to sign my deal and move on and not have to deal with any rumors, any free agency, any this, any that. This is where I want to end my career. So we’ll figure it out.”
Wade was scheduled to make $16 million this season if he accepted his player option for this season, but Pat Riley and the Heat ended up giving him a $20 million raise.
It’s very unlikely that Wade will get $20 million-plus again from the Heat, with players like Hassan Whiteside, Gerald Green, and others needed to be re-signed by the team. Whiteside is expected to get a max contract from the Heat to keep him, but I would closely monitor how much Riley can talk him down.
If we shift back to Wade, he is 34-years-old right now, and he’ll be 35 next January. While Wade has been healthy this year, his scoring averages are down, as well as his field goal percentage, but in the end at age 34 the guard is still very effective.
Wade is averaging 18.7 points, 4.7 assists, and 4 rebounds per game in 50 of the Heat’s 53 games this season.
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