Storyline: Dwyane Wade Free Agency

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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.”
1 year 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.
1 year 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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November 22, 2018 | 2:50 am EST Update
The day — which began with James visiting students at his I Promise School in Akron — couldn’t have been any better for him. “To come here tonight and go out and hear the fans’ reception — 11 years playing here,” James said. “I just tried to be the best basketball player, the best role model, the best leader I can be both on and off the floor by example for this franchise. They showed their appreciation not only for myself, but for my friends and family at the game tonight. It was a great moment.”
The recognition from fans and the team was a moment he deserved. “I appreciate these fans just as much as they appreciate me. Every single night we stepped out on the floor, they showed their appreciation to not only myself but my teammates for those 11 years, especially those last four years, those championship runs we were making. That was my salute to them for them appreciating what I was able to accomplish with my coaches and teammates.”