No longer a superstar, but still an incredibly important link of past, present and future for the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade did as expected and has come to terms with the only NBA team he has ever played for, which means signing a new contract. Like anything else was going to happen.
Wade is likely going to sign a two-year deal worth $31 million, which means he left around $11 million on the table over a period of two years to help the Heat retool going into next season, and in a more practical sense helped Chris Bosh get his maximum deal even though LeBron James leaving and “saving” the Miami Heat over $20 million in annual salary and cap hit did most of the work.
Wade has been through think and thin with the Heat. He has won championships and he has also been part of some awful teams, specifically in the 2007-2008 season when his injury forced the Heat to line up one of the worst possible starting fives in recent memory. He was there next to Shaquille O’Neal when they led the team to the first championship in franchise history, and he was a capable sidekick and more next to LeBron James as the Heat won two in a row between two Finals losses.
Unlike Bosh, Wade wasn’t really “getting the love” from other teams across the league. Maybe it’s what some like to call the “San Antonio syndrome.” Wade is so connected to the Heat that no other team was even considering trying to tempt him with a deal to go elsewhere. But maybe it has something to do with him playing only 54 games in the previous regular season, and his declining abilities on both ends of the floor.
There’s the theory that sprung up in the 2013 finals – the Heat were better with Wade off the floor. It was true for some games, but Wade played a huge part in the final four games of that series. Maybe it was true for some games in these playoffs as well. It’s hard to except consistency from Wade when his knees aren’t getting any better. Rest works, but more than anything, it’s a downward spiral until he’ll no longer be able to contribute.
Wade tweeted that home is where the heart is. He also defended LeBron James for choosing to leave and doing what’s good by him, and not for others. In a league that is usually about money first and loyalty last, it’s nice to see someone stick around after the good times are over. Wade isn’t exactly doing this out of charity – he’s getting paid quite well. However, it’s always great to see teams and players not giving up on each other when things don’t exactly go their way.