Report: Dwyane Wade fielding outside offers as talks with Heat stall again
All-Star could seek other opportunities as Heat's dilemma resurfaces a year later
Here we go again.
Last summer Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat held a standoff that spilled over into the media. The All-Star guard had sacrificed max contracts several times in the past to allow Miami to create cap room so they could build a contending team around him, including the 2010 acquisition of LeBron James. After James went to Miami, Wade wanted compensation for backpay and sought a long-term, big money deal. The team wanted to keep their options open to try and make big free agent moves, specifically targeting Kevin Durant this summer.
Eventually, however, the two came to an agreement on a one-year, big money deal, with the idea that Wade would be compensated this summer. Now talks are happening again, and once again, they're stalling, setting up a scenario where Wade could play for a different franchise for the first time in his 13-year NBA career. From ESPN:
Dwyane Wade's initial contract discussions with the Miami Heat have not produced a common ground between the parties, and he is preparing to field outside offers when free agency opens Friday, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that Wade's representatives have made it known to multiple teams over the last several days that he will be on the market. Some teams have been skeptical, wondering if Wade would seriously consider leaving the franchise where he has played 13 seasons and won three titles.
The Heat are expected to meet with Durant in the early days of free agency and are considered on the outside of the pursuit for his services.
The most likely scenario remains the two eventually working out a deal, as Miami does not want to lose their-still productive franchise icon, and Wade doesn't want to alter his legacy by playing for a different team. But it should be noted that there is a world of money on the open market this summer for teams that would love to have Wade around if only for a season or two. He could join his good friend LeBron James in Miami, mentor the Lakers' young squad in L.A., help Oklahoma City try and topple the Warriors, be a Knicks icon with his friend Carmelo Anthony for a year, or head to his native Chicago and team up with Jimmy Butler.
Wade will have options, and at some point, they're going to have make right with Wade. Wade has sacrificed and been patient to help his team win the three championship rings he owns, but it's not just the money, this is about the principle of the thing.
The Heat will likely do what it takes to keep Wade, but remember, he's an unrestricted free agent. If he decides to not give them the option to top whatever offer comes, that's his choice.
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