Henry Thomas Rumors
Liggins was fortunate to have one of the game’s most respected agents, Henry Thomas of CAA, representing him. Thomas has represented some of the game’s most upstanding people over the years, from Dwyane Wade to Chris Bosh to Michael Finley and Udonis Haslem. Liggins, though, was not a high-profile client. But Thomas didn’t drop him. “You have to know your guy,” Thomas said Friday. “He was young when that happened. I’ve stuck with him for the whole time. He’s from Chicago. I tend to stick with Chicago guys, because I’m from Chicago. I just thought that he had a chance to make it in the NBA. I thought he was skilled enough to make it. He just needed to be with the right team.”
So why did Wade leave Miami? Wade really won’t get into what went wrong in the negotiation phase and has been politically correct about his departure. The Heat is saying the right things, too. Wade expressed a lot of good tidings and vice versa came from the Heat before their lone meeting against each other in Miami this season. One NBA source said the Heat had a difficult time having discussions with Wade’s longtime agent Henry Thomas and two other agent representatives.
Thomas told The Undefeated that if Miami had offered a three-year contract, that Wade’s chance of staying would have been greatly improved. Such a contract would have been a major commitment for a veteran NBA player who turns 35 in January. Thomas, also a Chicago native, believes the Heat probably thought he tried to sway Wade to sign with the Bulls, but maintains it was “all [Wade’s] decision.” “I honestly thought he would stay here, but it didn’t work that way,” Thomas told The Undefeated. “It was all based on what Dwyane felt that he deserved from the organization. It wasn’t a maximum contract or anything like that. “With all he has done for the organization, he felt that he should have gotten what he wanted. More years. It was just one more year.”
It was one thing to give up shots and cash to close the deal for pal LeBron James in 2010, while also working with James and Chris Bosh to accommodate his most trusted teammate, Udonis Haslem, someone Wade wants the Heat to re-sign again. And the organization argues that his agent’s desire to get the most possible for another client, Bosh, is part of what has squeezed Wade financially since.
While Wade addressed the students, he did not discuss his impending opt-out decision, which must be made by the end of the month. Despite Wade’s agent, Henry Thomas, confirming ongoing discussions regarding Wade’s contract status, neither Wade nor the Heat have commented publicly. Wade is due $16.1 million next season on the final year of the two-year contract he signed last summer in the wake of LeBron James’ free-agent departure to the Cleveland Cavaliers. That contract included the right to terminate the deal by the end of this month and become a free agent July 1.
Meanwhile, Henry Thomas continues to talk to the Heat about Wade’s contract. Wade prefers to opt out a contract that would pay him $16.1 million next season and instead sign a new three-year deal, preferably with the Heat. The Heat prefers he opt into the contract. Wade must inform the Heat of his opt-out decision by June 29. So the Heat can keep working to try to convince Wade to opt in, but his preference to opt out has been pretty strong to this point.