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Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem have an important decision to make this summer. Will they continue their playing careers or retire? That decision won’t be made days after the Heat’s season-ending loss in Philadelphia. With a long offseason ahead, the 36-year-old Wade and 37-year-old Haslem will take their time. “We haven’t really thought about it,” Haslem said Friday on exit interview day. “We’re both in situations where we have a lot of different opportunities ahead of us.
Udonis Haslem: “The most important thing for both of us right now is our family. We’ve sacrificed so much family time being a part of this. We’ve reaped the benefits. We’ve had so much success. We’ve broken records. We’ve enjoyed it. But family is the thing our minds are geared toward right now.”
Udonis Haslem: “When you are young, basketball is number one above all. Toward the middle of your career, basketball may take a little dip and get second. Doesn’t mean it’s not important or not your focus. When you get to this age, basketball is like third or fourth. So many things that are just more important in life than the game of basketball.”
Barry Jackson: Spoelstra said he was basically “in tears” with Wade after Game 5. Spoelstra said he’s not emotionally ready to have “normal conversation with him” about his plans. Will have lunch with him in few weeks.
Dave McMenamin: LeBron James declined to wax poetic about Dwyane Wade’s career before the three-time champion guard announces whether he indeed is retiring this summer after 15 years in the NBA. James did say, however, that he and his former teammate spoke about the possibility of Wade retiring when the Cavs played against Miami late in the season. “Right after the game it was like, ‘If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more,’” James shared. “But I’ll give you guys a more in-depth analysis of his career (later on) if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
About an hour after the final game of his 15th NBA season, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade acknowledged that he has thought about retiring but said he won’t make a final decision until later in the offseason. “That’s not my focus,” Wade said after the Heat’s season-ending loss to the 76ers on Tuesday. “Fresh off this NBA season, my 15th year, I sit back and think about that. Then I dive and throw myself into my family. They’re next on my bucket list, making sure I’m there for them. And when it comes to the basketball side of it, which is a long time away from now, then I’ll think about that.”
Gabrielle Union: I hope this isnt the end, but my God… @DwyaneWade has a career most people dream of. He is a damn legend. An icon. And hes cute 🤗 #HeatNation
Molly French: Dwayne Wade when asked if this could have been his final home game in South Beach: “I don’t want to answer that right now. I’ve got another game to play.”
Wade said he will take time after the season to decide whether to retire or return to the Heat for one more season. “Just taking time to think, that’s all I’m doing,” Wade said. “Taking time to think and looking at every angle and what’s the best situation for me to be in. That’s all. It’s a lot of different, it’s a lot of different things that come into play.”
If he returns for another season, he said it will only be as a member of the Heat. “Someone like Vince [Carter] can go anywhere and play. Every year, he can go to do a different location,” Wade said. “I can’t hop to here and there. So it makes it a little tougher.”
Wade delivered a throwback 28-point performance in 26 minutes off the bench to propel the Heat to a 113-103 win and snap the Sixers’ 17-game win streak. “A lot of people think that if you do decide to go out it’s because you weren’t supposed to be able to play no more. It’s not always supposed to be that,” Wade told ESPN after the game.
Wade, at 36, hasn’t committed to playing beyond this season, but also hasn’t ruled it out, stressing that such a decision is best left for the offseason. “At the end of the game, we just kind of had that moment like 15 years strong — as brothers, as teammates, as competitors, as teammates again, as competitors again,” James, 33, said, having entered the NBA together as lottery picks in 2003. But our brotherhood is beyond this game of basketball. You just don’t take for granted. You just don’t know. We’ll see what happens in the summer.”
James said he was covering all bases, with Tuesday the third and final meeting between the teams during the regular season. “Absolutely, absolutely,” James said. “Just kind of hearing the narrative since he came here, he’s not quite sure what he’s going to do next year. He’s going to assess everything.”
Wade thinks he’s changed teams for the final time. Whether he plays past this season or not, this is his role until the end. It is the final reinvention. “I want to be my best self,” Wade said. “If I’m on the bench to start games, if I’m on the bench to end games, as long as we’re winning. That’s all I care about.”
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.
Since Wade is a legend, it’s fair to wonder if the franchise will do anything to celebrate him during his final game. While it may, Wade made it clear in a conversation with ESPN that the one thing he does not want is a massive retirement tour, a la the one Kobe Bryant (who Wade has talked to about such an event) had during his final season with the Lakers. “I talked to Kobe about that,” Wade said. “He was like ‘It was exhausting. As flattering as it was, it was very exhausting as well.’ I’m not a narcissist like that, I don’t think I need … not calling Kobe a narcissist, he earned that and he needed that. I can’t set out and say ‘I want a farewell tour like Kobe Bryant.’ That’s not who I am. When the time come, and I don’t really talk about it because it’s not here yet, but when the time comes, I’ll announce it in my own D-Wade fashion, the way that I do.”
At 35, Wade said it is only logical to take his career at this stage year by year. “That’s the way I approach it, even if I’m on a contract for two years, that’s how I approached it,” he said. “As me and [Heat captain and close friend] Udonis [Haslem] both talked about for many years and I think we got it from Ray Allen, about knowing that time is going to come for you. Don’t have a perceived notion that I’m retiring at this age, ‘I’m retiring at this year.’ Play the game year after year, see how you feel, and see what you want to do the following year.”
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May 25, 2018 | 10:09 pm EDT Update
The Kings are exploring all options with the second pick, said a source familiar with the team’s thinking. The front office sees elite talent in this draft, and multiple players and scenarios are being explored. The Kings have traded down in each of the last two drafts, so that cannot be ruled out.
An ESPN report suggested the Kings had cooled on Doncic and general manager Vlade Divac passed on watching the Slovenian in the EuroLeague Final Four. Divac, however, did attend Real Madrid’s semifinal game and, according to a league source, the Kings had two additional scouts at the semifinal and final.
There are some in the NYK front office who love Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. and Duke big man Wendell Carter Jr. Of course, it’s worth noting that this may not be a uniform opinion throughout the front office. But even if it is, it’s unlikely that either player will be available when the Knicks pick.
Also, some in the Knicks front office have Mikail Bridges ranked ahead of Miles Bridges at the moment. Both players could be available at No. 9 and, again, neither has worked out individually for the Knicks yet.
Privately, some members of the front office have been mentioning the same thing regarding the idea of taking a point guard, essentially saying that it wouldn’t make sense to select a PG given the current roster. This would seem to be another sign that the organization is confident in 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina. Again, it’s worth noting that this opinion may not be uniform throughout the Knicks’ front office.