A new twist in the offseason and free agency of Dwyane Wade; two actually. The Miami Heat have upped their offer to $40 million over two years, and there’s now a meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers in sight, and a potential reunion with LeBron James.
In the previous episodes, Wade hit free agency after an injury free season, making the conference semifinals (game 7). He made $20 million last season, and was hoping for a long-term deal or more money. The Heat, reportedly, low balled him by offering him just $10 million for next season. Wade reached out to other NBA teams, with the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets showing the most interest.
So far, not surprising. It seems Wade and the Heat have gone through this process a number of times, but always find a way to work things out. Hence the new offer to Wade, who is tired of taking pay cuts when he sees everyone maximizing their earning potential, under the cap restrictions of course. But Wade might actually decide to forget about money and do whatever it takes to put himself next to LeBron James once again, even if the window for championships seems difficult to get through due to the Golden State Warriors adding Kevin Durant.
Wade is going to meet with the Cavaliers, according to rumors, and see what’s on their mind. The Cavs can’t offer Wade anything close to $20 million a season, but maybe a sign & trade, if the Heat have an intention of doing so, could be on the table. James has spoken about wanting to play with Wade one more time (he also included Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony in that equation), but Wade might have to give up on a lot of money, or maybe years on the contract, for it to happen.
Most likely scenario? Wade stays in Miami. He probably won’t get a bigger deal in terms of money per annum than what the Heat are offering him right now. One or two million more per season? I don’t think he’ll join the Nuggets or Milwaukee (which are much closer to Chicago, and where he played his college ball) just to make $4-5 million more overall. We’ve seen a number of players a lot hungrier for money and titles than Wade take less to put themselves in the right situation this offseason.
Wade averaged 19 points per game last season, missing only 8 games, the healthiest he’s been in five years. His per minute numbers remain the same, but at this point, the question is about his priorities. The Heat haven’t been able to improve in the offseason, only keep Hassan Whiteside. If another NBA championship is on his mind, Miami might not be the best place to get it in the next two years. Growing with something new could be tempting, with Milwaukee and Denver offering that option. And then there’s Cleveland and the LeBron James reunion. It’s appealing, but possibly financially unrewarding, which is a big part of this equation.