Late Tuesday night, ESPN reported that NBA free agent Dwyane Wade is open to other offers after initial contract talks with the Miami Heat have stalled. Wade was a free agent last offseason as well, but eventually ended up signing a one-year $20 million deal with the Heat, a move that gave the team much-needed financial flexibility for the future while also allowing Dwyane to keep his options open heading into the 2016 offseason.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 29, 2016
It would seem to be a long shot for Wade to leave the Heat as he’s spent his entire 13-year career in Miami and has brought three championships to the organization. Dwyane is revered in South Beach, but that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be a coveted free agent if things truly don’t work out with the Heat.
“Hopefully, if everything goes well this summer for this organization and for myself, we’ll give ourselves another chance,” Wade said. “It’s going to be an interesting summer.”
Heat president Pat Riley has a lot of decisions to make this offseason and those decisions will have a direct impact on the team’s championship hopes in the immediate future. Wade, Luol Deng and Hassan Whiteside are all free agents this summer which leaves the Heat with around $40 million in salary cap space.
In addition to his own free agents, recent reports indicate that Riley is interested in bringing in prized free agent forward Kevin Durant. With a 34-year-old Wade, it’s entirely possible that Riley would rather wait until things get figured out with Durant before working things out with Wade. Unfortunately for Riley and the Heat, it doesn’t sound like Dwyane Wade is willing to wait that long.
Wade said at the close of the season. “I think I’ve been around long enough to know now to expect anything going into the summer. At this time, I don’t expect anything. I have no idea. And that’s always the thing going into the summer, it’s always the unknown of what a team’s going to be when you don’t have a lot of guys under contract and when your whole team is not under contract. From that standpoint, I don’t know.”
— SI NBA (@si_nba) June 29, 2016
Despite coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career, Dwyane Wade would still be an attractive option on the free agent market. Two teams that would seem to have the most interest would be the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls.
The Cavaliers are the defending NBA champions and Wade’s best friend LeBron James is expected to return next season despite declining his player option yesterday. Not only would it make sense that James and Wade would want to play together again after winning two championships with the Heat, but Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith recently opted out of his contract for the 2016-17 season which would open a hole that Wade could fill.
Dwyane could also have interest in the Bulls because he was born in Chicago and was rumored to be interested in playing for his hometown team when he was a free agent in 2010. The only issue would seem to be the Bulls not being close to contending for a championship and with Wade not getting any younger, it would make sense for him to be interested in joining a team that could win it all next season.
According to CBS4 Miami, it would be a total upset to see Dwyane leave the Heat, but stranger things have happened. If he does depart, look for Dwyane Wade to contact James about a spot on the Cleveland Cavaliers and chase another championship in 2016-17.
[Photo via Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]