Spending 13 years together as teammates can create a strong friendship. Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem both broke into the NBA with the Heat during the 2003/04 season, although they entered the league under vastly different circumstances. Wade was the fifth player taken in the 2003 draft, while Haslem went undrafted in 2002 and spent a year in France before signing with Miami as a free agent.
Wade is gone now from the Heat, signing a two-year, $47MM deal with the Bulls in July. He leaves with three NBA titles, two other finals appearances and a host of career franchise records. Haslem is still there, one of the few constants in an offseason roster shakeup. The bonds they formed through years of winning and losing are strong, so it’s understandable that they feel an absence as the opening of training camp nears.
Wade was back in Miami this morning, participating in a bike ride with police to promote unity. Asked what he’ll miss most about playing for the Heat, he immediately mentioned Haslem’s name. Haslem had the same reaction, but with an interesting addition.
“I was thinking more him of him coming here,” Haslem said when asked about the possibility of he and Wade ever joining forces again. “I never said [I’d leave the Heat]. I won’t ever say that. When I said play with him again, I never said leave.”
Wade’s deal with Chicago includes the chance to opt out of a $23.8MM salary for 2017/18 and become a free agent again. Although contract talks broke down with the Heat this summer, Wade didn’t leave on bad terms. Team president Pat Riley said he regrets how the negotiations worked out and admitted that he should have done more to keep Wade in Miami.
That brings us to tonight’s question: Will Wade ever decide to return to the Heat? He is still a beloved figure in Miami and is highly respected throughout the organization, It would create a buzz throughout the league if it happened next summer, and he would get a reception that would rival LeBron James‘ homecoming in Cleveland.
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on Wade. We look forward to what you have to say.