Dwyane Wade doesn’t want as much tumult to surround his free agency this coming summer as happened last year, when a stream of rumors emanated from his reported willingness to leave Miami and apparent insistence on more than the Heat wanted to pay him, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Ultimately, the sides settled on a one-year, $20MM deal. Wade insisted to Jackson this week that he wasn’t willing to test the market last year and isn’t looking to do so this year.
“The whole free agency thing, I didn’t want to be in it last summer; I don’t want to be in it this summer,” he said. “I don’t want to be on the market at all. … I’m not curious at all. I want to get to it [with the Heat]. I want to be able to sign my deal and move on and not have to deal with any rumors, any free agency, any this, any that. This is where I want to end my career. So we’ll figure it out.”
Regardless of what happened this past offseason, a renewed trust exists in the Heat’s relationship with Wade, Jackson writes. Wade, who’s not expected to end up with $20MM again for next season, will represent a cap hold of as much as $30MM this summer until he signs. See more from South Beach amid news from the Eastern Conference:
- Coach Erik Spoelstra was furious with soon-to-be free agent Hassan Whiteside after the flagrant foul that forced his ejection from Tuesday’s game, one that will likely result in a one-game suspension from the league, observes Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. Wade and Chris Bosh said that while they support the mercurial center, Whiteside ultimately has to keep his emotions in check, as Lieser details. The ejection is Whiteside’s first of the year, but he’s “taken a step back,” Bosh said, nonetheless adding that he still trusts him, Lieser notes.
- Any chance the Knicks had to land Kevin Durant was lessened when they fired coach Derek Fisher, a former Durant teammate, but the team has been told that hiring Scott Brooks, Durant’s old Thunder coach, would influence New York’s pursuit of the top 2016 free agent, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Presumably, that means adding Brooks would help the team land Durant. Knicks president Phil Jackson has hinted at a willingness to hire a non-triangle coach, but he’s made it clear he would prefer someone who runs his favored offense, Begley notes, and Brooks doesn’t appear to be a candidate at this point.
- The resurgence of soon-to-be restricted free agent Tyler Zeller of late gives the Celtics added flexibility as the trade deadline approaches, posits Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com.