Dwyane Wade is making the Heat wait.
A source confirmed Monday afternoon the Heat have offered Wade a two-year, $40 million contract with a player option for the second year. Wade would make $20 million in each season.
Why hasn’t Wade accepted the offer yet? Does he want a third year on the contract? More money? Or is the 34-year-old Wade just ready to leave the only franchise he’s ever played for?
Even after Miami made its latest offer to Wade, NBA.com’s David Aldridge reported Monday night that Wade’s previously scheduled meeting with the Bucks on Wednesday is still on. The Bucks and the Nuggets are two teams still making a push for Wade, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
But then came reports that Wade could be looking to reunite with close friend and former teammate LeBron James in Cleveland. The rumors come on the heels of Wade’s well-documented vacation with James and Chris Paul on a yacht in the Mediterranean Sea.
It all started Monday night when Joe Lull, a Cleveland media member who broke the news of Dan Gilbert’s meeting with James in 2014, tweeted out a flight tracker link featuring a plane that allegedly took Wade from Fort Lauderdale to Cleveland.
The possibility of Wade joining the Cavaliers gained momentum from there. The Huffington Post’s Jordan Schultz reported Tuesday morning that Wade is in “preliminary talks” with the Cavaliers.
There is one thing that’s not working in the Cavaliers’ favor. Unless Cleveland finds a way to create more cap space, Wade would have to take the league minimum or the $3.5 million mini mid-level exception to join the Cavaliers.
In this scenario, Wade would take at least a $16.5 million pay cut to reunite with James.
Is it about money or winning at this point for Wade? Or could it just be about showing the Heat that he’s really willing to leave this summer?