Dwayne Wade Joins Free Agency
A big story this offseason is whether or not Dwayne Wade will remain a Miami Heat. With the ability to opt out of his current contract, Wade believes he could and should be offered more money by the team he has called home for the last 12 seasons.
And with the Monday deadline approaching and neither side budging, Wade decided to opt out of his contract, which would have paid him $16.1 million in 2015-16 and left him an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Dwayne Wade Opts Out
Like Mickey Mantle with the Yankees or Michael Jordan with the Bulls, Wade is synonymous with the Miami franchise. So it is awfully troubling to see the standstill that the two sides are currently at.
The three-time NBA Champion believes he should be making more money. He reportedly wants a contract worth around $16 million per year for the next three seasons, according to ESPN. This would somewhat compensate him for the amount he sacrificed over the years — he has taken pay cuts to enable the Heat to bring in free agents.
On the other side, Miami wants some flexibility with the cap, which is basically the opposite of the Kobe Bryant and Lakers situation. They could use the extra cash for the 2016 free agency pool, which has a deep class with Kevin Durant, Roy Hibbert, Anthony Davis and Joakim Noah.
It is a tough situation. Pat Riley does not want a repeat LeBron James incident, but Wade has recently missed a lot of playing time: over the last four seasons, he has only played in 234 of a possible 328 games, specifically missing 48 over the last two seasons. Mix this with the way Bryant handcuffed the Lakers and it is understandable why Riley is hesitant to sign Wade.
Still, Wade is the face of that franchise. He has brought them three championships — its first ever in 2006 — and is the Heat’s all-time leader in points, field goals, steals and assists. Simply, there is going to be an awful lot of pressure, specifically from the fans, to re-sign him.