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Dwyane Wade plans to stay with the Heat, but may opt out

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

There's a quiet storyline developing that this could be the last year for the Triad era in Miami. LeBron James and Chris Bosh have opt-out clauses next summer. James of course is the linchpin, but if he goes, you can see Bosh taking a walk to get one more big contract as well.

But no one really talks about Dwyane Wade.

Wade also has an opt out. You assume he either won't use it or will re-sign with the team. That's definitely how he made it sound on Friday in the Miami Herald.

With each member of the Heat's Big 3 holding opt-out clauses next summer, Dwyane Wade said Thursday night that it will not be an issue for him because he plans to stay with the Heat long-term.

"Everybody knows where I want to be. I want to be in Miami," he said at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, at an event to kick off his annual basketball fantasy camp.

"I have nothing to talk about [regarding 2014 opt-outs]. So there won't be any exciting news over here."

via Heat's Dwyane Wade in Miami for the long haul - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com.

Wade did indicate that he could opt out, however, which may not be good for the Heat, depending on his demands.

Though Dwyane Wade said he intends to stay with the Heat beyond next season, he did not rule out opting out of his contract. He would make $20 million in 2014-15 and $21.5 million in 2015-16 if he does not opt-out either preceding summer. It's possible he could take less money in exchange for more years.

"We'll see," Wade, 31, said Friday of the opt-out. "You have to figure out what's best for yourself and what's best for the team and then you come up with that answer."

via UM commitments explain keys to Canes' recruiting success; Dolphins chatter; Heat personnel notes | Sports Buzz.

That would make a lot of sense. He can lock up a deal to make sure he's making money through however long he wants or intends to play, and give the team some cap room to keep adding free agents and maybe stay in contention. They're clearly not going to get a better player than James, should the Triad era end, but they can stay in the mix.

From the Heat's perspective, Wade's value is already diminishing at supersonic speeds as age and injury take their tolls. Having him on the books for the long-term is going to be painful. But he's the franchise's icon. He's overtaken Alonzo Mourning as the most recognizable player in the team's history and will have the most prominent position in the rafters when his time comes (aside from Michael Jordan and Dan Marino, obviously #SMH).

They'll pay whatever he wants to keep him however long he'll be there, then he could even transition to a front-office role alongside Mourning. It makes sense because while the Lakers can act like their franchise is bigger than any one player (see: Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal), the Heat are not in that position. Dwyane Wade is the Miami Heat.

 
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