Dwyane Wade faced a serious, challenging question in the Miami Heat locker room: will the veteran guard take a pay cut on his next contract, as he did in 2010, for the good of the team?
Teammate LeBron James—who also took less money to help form the Miami Heat's Big Three with Wade and Chris Bosh— answered for Dwyane, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
"D-Wade is getting that Kobe deal," James said from the next locker.
Windhorst reports that Wade, knowing that discretion is the better part of valor, had a touch more diplomacy than his teammate when answering.
"When I get into that position, it's something I'll think about," Wade said.
"You have to sit down at the time and see what is best for you and for your team."
It's a fair question to ask Dwyane Wade. Come next summer, Wade faces the prospect of opting out of the final two years of his contract, for which he's scheduled to earn $42 million through 2016. Should Dwyane Wade renegotiate for big money or take another pay cut to give the Heat more room under the salary cap in order to go after more talent? Dwyane's Big Three compatriots all face the same situation at the end of the year, after Wade talked James and Bosh into joining him with less than maximum contract.
"There are different times and different mindsets that you deal with. That was 2010," Dwyane Wade said. "I'm not saying that LeBron James or Chris Bosh, if they get the opportunity again, are going to leave $17 million on the table. No one can say they should do that. You have to do what is best for you."
Have the Big Three accomplished all they set out to do? At the point of its inception, Bosh and James were still hungry for their first NBA championship; they have since achieved it back-to-back years, giving Dwyane Wade his third ring. The Vegas futures odds have Dwyane and the Heat as the favorite to win again this year and their currently just a game and a half back from the league leading Indiana Pacers in the standings.
Should the 32-year old Dwayne Wade, 2006 NBA Finals MVP, go for "that Kobe deal" in the offseason?