One of the most fun yearly traditions of the NBA free agency period is upon us. Coming off a one-year, $20 million contract with the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade is looking for a new deal, and his people are putting it out there that if he can’t reach one with the Heat, he’s open to entertaining offers from other teams.
This happened last year, too. Reports surfaced that Wade was unhappy with his negotiations with the Heat, and he might look into leaving (he was linked to the Clippers at one point). On the second day of free agency, Wade and the Heat agreed to a one-year deal, and the issue seemed to be behind them.
The tricky thing this summer is that the Heat are one of the six teams slated to meet with Kevin Durant, and they have to make a decision on whether to re-sign Hassan Whiteside to a max contract. They won’t have the ability to make those moves and pay Wade anything close to what he made this year. Wade has been willing in the past to take less money to facilitate other moves. He did in 2010, when LeBron James and Chris Bosh came over in free agency, and he did again in 2014 to allow the Heat to keep Bosh from going to Houston after James went back to Cleveland.
If the Heat get a commitment from Durant, one has to imagine Wade will be willing to take a pay cut to make it happen, since that would instantly make Miami a title contender again. But short of that, expect Wade to get every dollar he can out of the organization – as well he should.
It’s almost impossible to imagine him leaving Miami; he’s in the same category as Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan, Hall of Famers who have played their entire career and won championships with one franchise. But if there’s anything the last few years of free agency have taught us, it’s that you can never rule anything out.