Storyline: Dwyane Wade Free Agency

450 rumors in this storyline

“I mean he came out and said: ‘don’t believe the hype, he’s retired, etc., Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. “Dwyane Wayne looked good last year. I’ll say this: I think if Dwyane is in contention, and i don’t know if that can happen without Chris Paul, but if they stay in contention, I can see a possibility where they can get Dwynae in. It’s gonna be hard to believe, I know that Dwaynes son is playing on the same high school team LeBron’s son is in LA. I can’t see Dwayne playing for the Lakers, I can’t see that. I think if he did come back, it’d be back in Miami. But he’s still in shape, still in the gym with his trainer. He still looks good. I think there’s a good chance he would if he did come out of retirement at some point.”

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“I’ve always did things my way,” Wade said in an emotional social-media video that he taped Sunday afternoon and released in the evening. “Whether they’ve good or whether they’ve been bad, I got here because I’ve done things the way I feel is right for me and right for my family. And what I feel is right … I feel it’s right to ask you guys to join me for one last dance, for one last season. “This is it. I’ve given this game everything that I have, and I’m happy about that, and I’m going to give it for one last season.”

It was hardly a guarantee that Wade, a 22.5-point scorer for his career, would return. His decision took months longer than some expected, partly because he was deciding what he wanted to do, partly because he was dealing with some personal business and some family business, and partly because it took him and the Heat some time to figure out what made sense for both sides. A person familiar with Wade’s thinking told The Associated Press that the guard was strongly considering retirement until late last week, when Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and others made a late push to help him decide.

Wade reiterated that the decision has always come down to Heat or retirement. “It’s not a Part B to it,” he said. “I think I’ve been very open and honest to my loved ones and to everybody when I spoke about some of the process. I always said that when I got traded back to Miami, that was it for me. I said it in the first interview and I don’t want to pack my bags to go nowhere. My family’s here, my kid are growing, so definitely if I’m not wearing a Miami Heat jersey next year, I’ll be wearing it under one of my sweaters or jackets.”

The Heat, because of their salary-cap situation, are limited to an offer of either the $2.4 million veteran-minimum salary for 2018-19 or their $5.3 million taxpayer mid-level exception. The Heat are limited beyond that with Wade lacking Bird Rights, having been reacquired at last season’s trading deadline from the Cleveland Cavaliers, after first leaving the Heat for his hometown Chicago Bulls in 2016 free agency following contentious negotiations with the Heat. “You’ve got to call my agent and ask him,” Wade said, when asked if the Heat had extended the maximum possible offer. “I haven’t dealt with the money part of it.”

I am also told by representatives of the club and of the player that Wade being comfortable with his role is critical. He returned last midseason in a bench role, a reserve in all 21 games. He also came off the bench in all five playoffs games. (It would have been four playoff games, but Wade scored 28 points in 26 minutes to give Miami its only postseason win, reminding us what he still is capable of at least in bursts). I have not been told Wade would demand to start. But does he see himself good for more than 25 minutes a game? He mentioned recently that he embraces a mentor’s role for the club’s many young guys still developing, “but you also want to play,” he added. A significant addendum, I thought.

Ira Winderman: Pat Riley, today, on Wade: “I want him back as a player. I want him back as a competitor. I want him back as a guy that wants to have the greatest year he ever had as a player. I read more articles about Dwyane being done, ‘he’s lost a step, he’s not the same player.’ We don’t want him back just as a placemat holder or somebody who’s going to be a veteran in the locker room.Dwyane is a great player, is a great talent. He’s not the same guy he was in 2006 but he can be a very good player for us and make a big difference.”

While clarity has yet to come from Dwyane Wade regarding his basketball future, we now at least have perspective on what constitutes a reported “monster deal” to play in China. Three days after the report of such an offer for Wade to continue his career with a shift to the Chinese Basketball Association, a report by a journalist in China has the offer from the Zhejiang Golden Bulls to Wade at $25 million over three years. As a matter of perspective, Wade sought such a figure for a single season during his ugly 2016 free-agency departure from the Heat to his hometown Chicago Bulls.

Dwyane Wade again has declined to offer clarity or finality when it comes to his decision about returning to the NBA or Miami Heat. In an interview with the Associated Press that focused on his Wednesday lifetime deal with China-based sporting-apparel manufacturer Li Ning, the Heat’s all-time leading scorer put aside the matter of his NBA future. “When I get back from China, I’ll focus on that,” Wade told the Associated Press. “Right now, I’m focused on the game after basketball. Whatever happens in basketball, it happens. I’ve done everything that I can to this point to put myself that I’m in this position I am today, where I can do something that hasn’t been done globally yet.

“To be here, to be back, to be a part of that, to be a part of leading not only by voice but leading by example, laying it all out on the line with these guys, I felt good about that. I felt good about the Miami Heat whole organization and its future and the kind of players and the kind of people that are in that locker room and in the organization. I was thankful that I could come back and be a part of that.” Asked about retirement, Wade then said, “I’ve given it thought.”

Has Riley had any conversations with Dwyane Wade, who is contemplating retirement, recently? “I haven’t talked to Dwyane,” he said. “I’ve talked to his agent. I think now over the next nine days between now and July the 1st, now we can focus on all these things. We’ve shared texts. He’s communicated on a regular basis with a lot of people in the organization, but nothing has been decided with Dwyane. We want to have Dwyane back obviously, but there’s been no discussion about next year.”

As for Wade, he’s still unsure if he will play this upcoming season. But he’s sure that if he does decide to continue his career, he wants it to be with the Heat. “If I decide to come back and play the game of basketball, I would love for it, obviously, to be in Miami,” Wade said to Mannix and Butler. “It’s just crazy because in this league you never know what will happen. I never thought I would leave Miami. Caron [Butler] knows that I thought I would be here forever, but things happen.”

Union said she believes her husband can still “play two or three more years” during an appearance on The Ringer’s podcast hosted by Larry Wilmore. Along with answering some basketball questions, she also discussed her new film “Breaking In,” her memoir “We’re Going to Need More Wine” and the #MeToo movement. “If it was from what I can see and the way he’s playing — absolutely,” Union said when asked if she believes Wade can still play. “He can play two or three more years with the way he’s playing because his mid-range jumper is nice and he can still get to the basket. “He can absolutely keep playing, but I don’t know if he’s over it.”

The Heat acquired Wade from the Cavaliers in a Feb. 8 trade. He averaged 12.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists in a bench role in 21 regular-season games with Miami this past season. If Wade does decide to continue his playing career, he said it will be with the Heat. What can Miami offer Wade as it hovers around the luxury tax? Likely just a minimum contract or the exception it gets — either the $5.4 million taxpayer mid-level exception or the $8.8 million mid-level exception.

Dwyane Wade retiring at the end of the season?

Wade, 36, told me in recent days that for the first time in his career, he is genuinely undecided whether he wants to play beyond this season. Wade has said that he will only play for the Heat, if he continues his career beyond this season. “I don’t know,” Wade said. “I have told everybody around me that I am taking it after this season and go from there. It’s the first year I’ve ever went into the summer with that mind-set. I always went into it as a free agent or opting out of a deal to get another deal. This is the first summer I can say I’m just going into the summer and see how I feel and see the position this organization is in and go from there. I’m not really concerned with it, honestly. I’m cool with whatever I decide to do. It will be my decision.”

“[Udonis Haslem] always talked about, as you get older, you take it year by year. But this is the first summer that I will go into the summer and say I ain’t got much hair left, but I’m going to let my hair down and look at everything as a whole, my family and basketball. Being back here helps that situation for me, makes the decision even easier since now that I’m back already. And sit down with Pat [Riley] and Micky [Arison] and everybody and see what’s best for me and go from there.” If Wade agrees to play for the minimum $2.4 million season, only $1.5 million would count against the salary cap. It’s possible, though less likely, that Miami would give Wade a chunk of its salary cap exception — either a $5.5 million taxpayer midlevel exception next summer or a full $8.8 million midlevel exception depending on whether Miami is a tax team.

Dwyane Wade wants to retire with Miami

After signing his one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade — speaking from his new locker room — told The Associated Press that Miami is “always in my heart” and that he took a serious look at whether this was the right time to return to the franchise where he spent his first 13 NBA seasons. “Miami, the door’s always unlocked,” Wade told AP. “One day I want to retire in a Miami Heat jersey. I don’t know how that will happen, but I definitely want to make sure than when I decide to hang it up, that jersey is on. Whether it’s being back there or signing a one-day deal like Paul Pierce, I want to make sure that I go out the way I came in.”
3 years ago via ESPN

“I’m happy that we were able to keep him away from everybody else,” James said after practice, referring to Wade accepting Cleveland’s $2.3 million veteran minimum offer over competing offers from the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat. “It’s a guy, come on, man, this is like one of my best friends. It’s kind of like when you start school and you walk into the classroom and you’re not quite sure who your classmates are and when you walk in there and one of your best friends is in there, you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, this is going to be fun. It’s going to be a good class.’ That’s the type of feeling I got.”

By cutting Williams, the Cavs can keep center Kendrick Perkins in camp. Perkins, a friend of LeBron James, is trying to make an NBA comeback after missing last season. With Cleveland’s roster constructed as is, Perkins’ chance of making the team is small. The Cavs will have to waive or trade a player with a guaranteed contract before the start of the season because of Wade’s arrival. Wade is expected to clear waivers at 5 p.m. Wednesday and sign with the Cavs.
3 years ago via ESPN

Forward Tristan Thompson said he expects Wade will fit in well with the Cavaliers’ roster. “He’s pretty familiar with most of the guys on our team, whether playing against or playing with. I think he’s going to jell pretty well. He’s a veteran, he’s always been a good locker room guy. We’ve never heard anything bad,” Thompson said. “It would be great for our team to have another championship-mentality player on our team. It’s just more pieces to the puzzle.”

Interestingly, the Warriors placed a call of their own to Wade’s camp to express interest in his services, a source told HoopsHype. The talks were brief because it was unclear what role Wade would play with Golden State. Throughout his decision-making process, Wade made it clear to interested teams that he wants to play significant minutes on a contender. The Warriors weren’t clear about his playing time, so both parties moved on. Golden State, which has 15 guaranteed players under contract, had to know landing Wade was unlikely, but they did their due diligence. If Wade surprised them and signed, they would’ve added a future Hall of Famer to an already loaded roster and – perhaps more importantly – kept him away from their rival Cavs.

Twelve-time NBA All-Star guard Dwyane Wade is nearing a commitment to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers and could finalize his decision as soon as Wednesday, league sources told ESPN. Wade, who agreed to a contract buyout with Chicago, will clear waivers on Wednesday and become an unrestricted free agent. Wade has been pulled to rejoin LeBron James on the Cavaliers. Wade and James are longtime friends, and were teammates on two NBA championship teams with the Miami Heat. Wade, 35, is eligible to sign a one-year, $2.3 million veteran’s minimum contract with the Cavaliers.

Dwyane Wade to Cleveland?

Dwyane Wade is leaning heavily toward the Cavaliers as his new team once he clears waivers and may have already decided on a reunion with LeBron James, league sources with knowledge of Wade’s thinking told cleveland.com. Wade, 35, a 12-time All-Star and close friend to LeBron James, is expected to clear waivers Wednesday, when he is free to sign with any team. He accepted an approximately $16 million buyout of his $23.8 million contract from the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night.
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May 29, 2020 | 11:55 am EDT Update

May 29, 2020 | 11:26 am EDT Update
ON A SUNNY day in mid-April, the sun crested over Los Angeles, but Paul wished to be over a thousand miles away: poring over film in Oklahoma City, preparing for Game 2 or 3 of a first-round series. He wanted to be hooping. Instead of getting up shots in his team’s practice facility, Paul has been having direct conversations with Silver more than once a week as the liaison between the commissioner and the players. Paul has served as a sounding board for those looking for advice, ideas or an outlet for their frustration.
“Hell, I need to vent at times,” Paul said. “I just look at it as guys are actually concerned and they want to know what’s going on. They should have a say in their future.” Between homeschooling his kids and finding time to take online Spanish classes (“I’m trying to get better at something,” he said.), Paul has had calls almost every morning — most often union-related — and more in the afternoon.
As rumblings of restart options and hypothetical scenarios have dotted their social media timelines, players across the league have been peppering Paul with the same questions curious basketball fans might have. “When are we going to play? How are we going to play? Where are we going to play?” said executive committee member Anthony Tolliver, outlining what’s being posed to Paul. “Are we going to try and finish the regular season? Is it worth it? Is it going to be too much? Are we going to bring guys back and possibly be subject to a bunch of injuries because of the circumstances? Just walking through and talking through all that stuff.”
PAUL’S VOICE CARRIES weight in conversations with the players’ union, but he doesn’t look to dominate them. He approaches a conference call much in the same way he approaches the game. “I frequently joke about this, he’s obviously a point guard and his claim to fame in terms of skill set is his ability to read the room, read the floor and pass the ball,” Roberts said. “He does that in meetings too. “If Chris sees a player who has not said much, he’ll ask, ‘John, what do you think about this? Come on, weigh in.’ That’s what he does. It’s a delight.”

May 29, 2020 | 9:29 am EDT Update
But I do cover sports, and the NBA is a huge, global league, that millions of people care about. And I respect that this is important to you. So, I’m going to concentrate on that below. After speaking to a couple dozen folks at all levels, from owners on down, the past few days, here’s the lay of the land, with the league’s Board of Governors set to meet with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Friday, a day after Silver spoke with the league’s GMs: The GM meeting, per a source, focused on the different potential playing formats after the restart, and the impacts of each on the final regular-season standings and other issues. But no definitive dates or decisions were made.
Storyline: Season Resuming?
“I’m fairly certain that Disney is going to work,” a high-ranking official with knowledge of the union’s thoughts said Thursday. “Vegas had some of the logistical things we needed but didn’t have the environment that could enhance our health protocols. Vegas scared me to death. Florida worried me a little bit because of the state opening up so early, but having a venue that can basically be closed off, I do think we can check off the venue issue off our list. I think we’ve got that down.”
There is a lot of support among teams and agents to include as many teams as possible. “I’m pushing for all,” one prominent agent said Wednesday. “I’m hearing the league wants to go to directly to the playoffs and I personally don’t think that’s fair to all the players who missed this season and want to participate. My suggestion for a format has always been 3-4 games for everyone, (a) play-in tournament for the eighth seed and then (a) regular playoff format.”
Problem is, Antetokounmpo has trademarked his “Greek Freak” nickname. Eady, in a series of tweets in March aimed at Antetokounmpo, said he stopped selling the shirts after getting a cease-and-desist letter last October from the player’s lawyers. That led to more legal wrangling, none of which Eady wanted to discuss in specifics other than to say he has taken out a small loan to cover a cash settlement to the lawsuit. The situation is an example that experts say is one the risks that star athletes face: Protect their trademarks using the legal system or face the loss of those protections that allow them to control their image, brand and related monetization – which can be worth millions of dollars.
And therein lies further image peril: The risk of going to court is that it can be seen as a famous rich person being greedy and cruel in trying to squash an entrepreneur. “Making an example of a few unauthorized vendors can ward off others. But trademark overreach can also alienate athletes from their fans — especially if those devoted fans are the ones imagining and creating the apparel,” said Stephen Stanwood of Campbell, Calif.-based Stanwood Law that specialized in such cases. Antetokounmpo has filed 13 trademark infringement lawsuits in federal court since July in the Southern District of New York, of which at least five have been settled, court records show. A lawsuit filed Wednesday was the eighth filed this month, and it’s unknown many cease-and-desist letters halted sales of knockoff merch before they came to become lawsuits.
May 29, 2020 | 7:50 am EDT Update
When the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, multiple players were approaching eligibility for contract bonuses. With basketball likely to return this summer, the league and the NBPA have to negotiate what will happen to that money. Sources told ESPN that the most likely outcome will be similar to how the league handled bonuses during the lockout-shortened season in 2011-12. Contract incentives initially intended for 82 games were prorated to account for the 66-game season. For example, a player with a $500,000 bonus in his contract for playing in 70 games qualified for the bonus if he played in 56 games. However, performance bonuses based on averages — such as shooting percentages — were not adjusted.
Fournier has $1.1 million in incentives, with $600,000 broken down into four categories: first-round appearance in the playoffs, second-round appearance, conference finals and Finals. Fournier will also need to appear in 75% of the games played per round. Likely outcome: There will be a negotiation when it comes to Fournier’s incentives. The guard has already met the required number of games (60), but the Magic might have to win a play-in game to make the postseason. When the season was postponed, Orlando was 5.5 games ahead of Washington for the final playoff spot in the East. If Orlando loses a play-in, does that mean Fournier doesn’t get his first-round appearance bonus?
Between homeschooling his kids and finding time to take online Spanish classes (“I’m trying to get better at something,” he said.), Paul has had calls almost every morning — most often union-related — and more in the afternoon. “He’s never said, ‘Can I get back to you?’ Never,” Roberts said of Paul, who will often surprise Roberts’ staff by jumping on a conference call to offer encouragement and share ideas. “Being accessible has been a godsend.”
As union president, Paul possesses the rare ability to gather the league’s top stars — LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant — on conference calls. That buy-in wasn’t there before, and high-ranking union members view Paul’s long-time superstar status as a big reason for the change. Players are more invested in their futures. They want more say. They want more power. “Our meetings are much more engaged now. That’s because of Chris,” Roberts said. “He won’t allow an issue to be presented and then not discussed.”
Paul’s competitiveness spills over into the role, but any beefs he has across the league don’t carry into meetings with players. “Pretty much everybody that I can imagine would have an on-court beef with him,” Tolliver said. “I’ve never seen any sort of negative confrontation [off the court]. “Most people’s experience with him is he’s so competitive … but that also is good for whenever he’s your president and he’s fighting [for] the things you want.”
Spencer Dinwiddie: … so here we go, I’ll explain this again for hot take Twitter. The question was revolving around what a less athletic KD could possibly look like because of how serious an Achilles injury is, especially for Bball players. Let me also first preface this with I don’t know what stage of rehab he’s at, I don’t have insider information, I don’t know when he’s going to return to play or any of that. This is my personal speculation from a basketball fan perspective. (Yes I appreciate HOFs, which he is) At 80% athleticism or so, which takes away his hyper mobility/dexterity for a 7fter. Who has a game that was built around mid post iso, pick/pop, a unblockable left foot turn around fade and overall extreme revolutionary proficiency in terms of a jumper/touch at that size. Sounds a lot like Dirk to me… and at the end of the day we’re comparing clear cut HOFs. Y’all acting like I said dirk was a bum or something

May 29, 2020 | 2:57 am EDT Update
General managers were surveyed about a “playoffs-plus” format—either a play-in tournament between the bubble teams to determine the final seeds in the playoffs, or a World Cup–style group stage, which would replace the end of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs with a round-robin format. About 75 percent of teams voted in favor of a play-in tournament, sources said, while 25 percent of teams voted in favor of the group stage.
Even if teams vote in their own best interests, it’s still noteworthy that there is leaguewide support behind more dramatic changes that were balked at in the past—such as playoff reseeding and play-in tournaments. My personal impression from conversations with sources across the league is that Silver is surveying teams to see if there is hunger for a new format the league may be able to use beyond this summer’s restart. Perhaps
Storyline: Season Resuming?
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on The Hoop Collective, the league may dismiss the idea of playing as many as 90 regular season games and go right to group-stage type opening round because it will give Zion Williamson and the Pelicans a better chance of making the 16-team playoffs. “I’ll tell you one thing: that scenario gets Zion Williamson in,” Windhorst said. “Look, I’ve just heard… I’m not saying the NBA is going this route, I’m just saying I’ve already heard this scenario that no matter what happens, the cutoff line will be the Pelicans. They’ll be in. It will be the first time in the history of the NBA that the league kicked the ball into the fairway for New Orleans.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
Lillard sees longtime teammate CJ McCollum going through his routine with Blazers player development coach Jon Yim, but the backcourt runningmates won’t get a chance to chop it up, at least not face-to-face. There exists a cardinal rule: one guy, one coach, one basket. Then for the first time in what feels like an eternity, Lillard runs through his greatest hits, the barrage of long-range bombs, the floaters, the repertoire that makes him Damian Lillard. “The whole first week was a breath of fresh air,” Lillard says. “On a certain level, it was exciting. You’re finally back on the court and you’re seeing everyone’s faces again.”
Though Lillard’s workout is abbreviated and restricted, he can finally release the pent-up energy accumulated while being locked out of the gym for nearly two months. The return for Lillard and his teammates comes with both anticipation of what he hopes will be more basketball ahead, but also some disorientation. “There’s so much stuff you never realize or appreciate you have access to until you’re without it,” Lillard says. “But it was still good to be back.”
BY MAY 15, one week after the Blazers reopened, the novelty of returning to the facility has worn off for Lillard. While he still values the opportunity to get some portion of his work in, the restrictions are becoming onerous and, truthfully, just strange. “The second week everyone is like, ‘All right, this is kind of weird,'” Lillard says. “The excitement is gone and now it’s, ‘What going on?'”
Spencer Dinwiddie understands that expectations are raised to championship if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving return for the Orlando playoffs. But the Nets guard is unsure what his star teammates will decide. “That’s the billion dollar question. But that’s not something I can answer,” Dinwiddie said Wednesday morning on ESPN’s “First Take.” “I know they’re both working really hard. They’re two of the hardest working in the NBA on the court, and two phenomenal players. If they are able to return and that’s the decision they make, our aspirations turn from playoffs to championship. “If they’re not able to return, which they’ve pretty much said that’s kind of the stance that they’re taking, we still want to be a team that grinds to get to the playoffs and makes a run in the playoffs. But we also understand the talent they add with being two of the top-10 players in the league and KD being, in my opinion, the greatest scorer of all time.”
But Williams changed his mind after seeing LaMelo Ball play in a game early on against the Perth Wildcats and guard Damian Martin, a six-time NBL defensive player of the year. “That’s the benchmark for me,” Williams said of Perth. “Any import point guard who thinks they’re good, all we say is this: let’s see what he does against Perth and Damian Martin. They’re physical, they play extremely hard and they’re picking you up full court…. (But) Damian Martin couldn’t do anything with (Ball). They began doubling him, getting the ball out of his hand. Never seen that, ever.” Ball had 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in the preseason game. He hit four 3-pointers. Williams, and the dozens of NBA scouts/front office personnel in attendance, came away impressed. “I said then, that’s the No. 1 pick in the draft. This was (September).”
The Bulls seem to have had a bad image in terms of perception by free agents for years, what kind of work do you think the new front office will have to do to rehabilitate that image? @Patrick H. A lot of it is relationships. If they carry the pre-existing relationships people I have talked to insist they do, the job could be easy. I’ve heard from more than a few people who have been extremely impressed with the direction of the franchise.
@Brian M. As you know, I would LOVE for the NBA to go back to Seattle. What I was told by owners well before the pandemic was that it was unlikely there’d be much support for expansion until at least the next TV deal (which is set to expire in 2024) is done. So I’m not holding out much hope at present for a groundswell of support for new teams. If this season were, for some reason, ultimately cancelled, maybe some feelings would change.