Dwyane Wade

Florida Notes: Wade, Johnson, Isaac

Dwyane Wade said the Heat can make a strong push toward postseason success if the team relies on its big men to be aggressive offensively, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes.

In his lone season with the Bulls and half a season with the Cavaliers, Wade did not have the luxury of a dominant presence in the paint. In Chicago, Robin Lopez was the primary center; in Cleveland, Kevin Love was more of an outside player. If the Heat bigs can play with the presence of past Wade-led teams in South Beach, he expects good results.

“When you got bigs like Hassan [Whiteside] and you got bigs like Bam [Adebayo] rolling to the basket, when they’re setting screens, you’re going to get into the paint,” Wade said. “Either all the way to the rim, some guys floaters, some guys pull-ups and lobs. Me, especially, I’m just getting back comfortable with it.”

Check out other news and notes from Florida’s NBA teams:

  • Tyler Johnson has played well since the Heat returned from the All-Star break, In two games back, Johnson posted 15 points in a loss to the Pelicans and 23 points in a win over the Grizzlies. He is 12 for 22 from the field in that stretch. Johnson admitted his struggles before the break were due to pressing for results, per the Sun-Sentinel. “I think before the break, I was settling for too many jumpers and trying to shoot my way out of a funk instead of doing what I do best [and] being an attacker,” Johnson said.
  • Jonathan Isaac has seen limited action in two G League contests with the Lakeland Magic as he resumes his comeback from an ankle injury. NBA.com’s Josh Cohen writes that Isaac is happy to shake off the rust with Lakeland before returning to Orlando. “I think it’s great, just getting back into things,” Isaac said. “I don’t take this time that I’m here for granted. I can still see I’m rusty. I missed some reads and stuff like that on defense and not being 100 percent there. Definitely will take this time for what it is.”

Southeast Notes: McGruder, Wade, Isaac, Hawks

Heat guard Rodney McGruder is getting closer to his season debut after participating in a second full-contract practice Wednesday, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. McGruder has been sidelined since having surgery in mid-October to fix a left tibia stress fracture. He is hoping to be ready when the Heat resume play Friday in New Orleans, but coach Erik Spoelstra hasn’t commited to that.

“I’ve got to work a little bit,” McGruder said. “Being off a couple of months, you just don’t hop right back into basketball shape, so I have some more conditioning that I need to work on. I’ve been doing a little more with practicing and just conditioning, preparing myself for when the time comes on my return that I’m ready to play.”

There’s more tonight from the Southeast Division:

  • Dwyane Wade plans to come off the bench for the Heat for the rest of the season, Jackson adds in the same story. Because of the All-Star break, he has only been in Miami for four days since being acquired in a trade two weeks ago and needs time to get used to playing alongside new teammates Wayne Ellington, Bam Adebayo and James Johnson“It’s definitely going to continue to be a work in progress, but the biggest thing is getting to know them personally,” Wade said. “On the court, it comes. You practice together, you play together, that’s going to come. Getting to know each other on the personal side helps even more. That builds trust and on the court you need that trust.”
  • Rookie forward Jonathan Isaac will test his injured ankle with the Magic’s G League affiliate, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. He will practice with the Lakeland team on Thursday and play on Friday, according to Orlando coach Frank Vogel“I definitely understand why they want me to spend some time there [with Lakeland],” said Isaac, who hasn’t playing since spraining his ankle November 11. “I’m just focused on getting back up here [with Orlando] as fast as possible and getting back around these guys.”
  • Coach Mike Budenholzer said the Hawks won’t be making the type of moves that are typical of tanking teams, relays Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta is tied with Phoenix for the top spot in our latest Reverse Standings at 18-41. “I think we’ve been a mix of young and veteran guys all year,” Budenholzer said. “I think the way we progressed through the season — of course when you start the season you think it could be a little different — [but] right now but I think the way we’ve played, and the way we continue to play, won’t be that much different.”

Southeast Notes: Olynyk, Hornets, Wizards, Wade

When the Heat signed Kelly Olynyk to a four year, $50MM contract this offseason, the team had to structure bonuses into his contract as a means to fit his first-year salary within the rules of the CBA. So with a current cap hit of $10.6MM, Olynyk could actually see his salary increase to $11.6MM if he reaches a $1MM bonus for playing at least 1,700 minutes during the regular season.

Per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel, Olynyk only needs – barring injury – to average 18.2 minutes per game for the remainder of the season to reach the bonus, well below his 23.4 per game season average. And while it may be difficult for Olynyk to keep that pace given the emergence of Heat rookie Bam Adebayo and the recent focus of more playing time for Hassan Whiteside, he doesn’t seem to mind too much.

“I mean, it’s obviously nice to get,” he said. “But it’s not something that you’re stressing about or striving toward. You want to be able to play minutes to help the (Heat) succeed, to help the team win, and whatever comes with that, comes with that.”

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • In an extensive Q&A with Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte ObserverHornets head coach Steve Clifford touched upon a number of subjects, including why the roster talent hasn’t translated to wins, the progress of rookies Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon, and whether Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is back to form after recovering from two seperate shoulder surgeries.
  • Despite currently sitting at fourth place in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards are only a mere five games ahead of ninth-place Detroit and must be careful not to slip out of the playoff race, authors Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Washington has the toughest remaining schedule in the East and third-hardest in the NBA, according to BasketballReference.com, so as Buckner writes, the team has little room for error.
  • Dwyane Wade is back in Miami, and for four of the Heat’s youngest players, this is welcome news, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Josh Richardson, Tyler JohnsonJustise Winslow, and Whiteside all have fond memories of their time with Wade the first time around, and they reveal what they learned most from Wade when asked how he most helped their game/career.

Cavaliers Notes: LeBron, Irving, Love, Wade

Today’s All-Star Game will reunite LeBron James and Kyrie Irving as teammates for the first time since the trade that sent Irving to Boston for three players and two draft picks. They were on the court together at Saturday’s practice and neither made a big deal out of the reunion, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Irving told reporters it was “pretty awesome” to be back with James, but added that their interactions were “just normal.” “Sorry, I know that sounds like not a lot,” he added, “but it’s just normal.” 

James is responsible for bringing them back together. As one of the team captains for today’s game, he made the decision to select Irving, saying, “If he was available I was taking him.” James was originally angry that Irving requested a trade, but didn’t do much to talk him out of it, Vardon writes, even though he asked Cleveland’s front office not to make a deal. James said he still has fond memories of their partnership.

“Those thoughts still go into my head of how great it was to break the drought in our city, over 50-plus years,” James said. “The both of us had magical Finals runs and, so it’s always special.”

There’s more this morning out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers got rid of a bad situation on and off the court with three deals just before the trade deadline, Kevin Love tells Vardon in a separate story. Several players the Cavs sent away were reportedly affecting team chemistry, although Love says he didn’t see any “friction” with Dwyane Wade. “It might not have been a bad thing to get some fresh faces in there and guys from situations where they really wanted to win,” Love said. “I think first and foremost, seeing those [new] guys in Atlanta, they didn’t play, but they got there right after the trade and they just said they want to win. You can tell when somebody says it, you can tell when somebody means it. They really meant it and it felt good to have that there.”
  • Love offered a medical update on the broken left hand that has sidelined him since late January, Vardon adds. Love has started running again and plans to have his cast taken off at the four-week mark, which will be in early March. His prognosis has him out of action for eight weeks.
  • James has been able to make about $20MM extra since rejoining the Cavaliers by signing one-year contracts with player options, notes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. The team wanted James to agree to a four-year max deal when he returned to Cleveland that would have been worth roughly $88MM. By opting for shorter commitments, James maximized his flexibility and will have earned $108MM by the end of this season.

Cavs Notes: Altman, Wade, Rose, James, Thomas

The Cavaliers had the busiest and most impactful trade deadline of any team, swinging three major trades and restructuring a faltering roster by the end of lunchtime on February 8. The behind-the-scenes and on-court struggles preceding the moves were a major talking point across the league, as Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon breaks down.

For starters, Cleveland’s rookie general manager, Koby Altman, deserves a lot of the credit for seemingly righting a ship that was on the verge of sinking. LeBron James addressed the changes and praised the general manager.

“It just wasn’t working out for us, and he felt like, obviously you guys saw his quotes, he made the changes that he felt best fits our team,” James said.

Yet, Altman had to correct an issue that brought upon by decisions made by him, owner Dan Gilbert, head coach Tyronn Lue, and James himself, Vardon writes. James never wanted the team to trade Kyrie Irving; when he was dealt, the Cavaliers tried to assemble the best roster possible and attempted to accommodate James despite him not committing long-term.

  • In the story, Vardon writes that the Cavaliers did not feel Dwyane Wade fit on the roster. However, once his buyout from the Bulls was complete, and at James’ urging, the team signed him anyway. While he adjusted well to the bench, Wade initially taking J.R. Smiths starter role had an adverse impact on Smith, who never got on track in the first half of the season. Also, Vardon notes that Wade — not Isaiah Thomas — was the first to question Kevin Loves illness that forced him to leave a game.
  • Derrick Rose was recruited to Cleveland by Lue and – despite his injuries – was expected to a valuable piece on a team-friendly deal. However, just a few games into the season, Rose suffered a sprained ankle that diminished his performance and he eventually left the team to evaluate his future. Upon his return, his teammates accepted him publicly but privately felt it was a matter of time before he was dealt.
  • A lot of was made of Isaiah Thomas‘ criticisms, which came while he was struggling himself. He admitted that he was not at full health as he recovered from the hip injury that kept him out to start the season. Lue felt he had to play Thomas as he was essentially Irving’s replacement but his performance never matched his output last season in Boston.
  • Without a commitment from LeBron, the Cavs were reluctant to surrender draft picks or take on significant salary beyond the current season. However, Gilbert took on future salary in multiple instances, adding Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, and George Hill, who are all under contract beyond 2017/18. It’s an insurance net for Cleveland in case James does leave in free agency. For now, James is prepared to take on the leadership role that he seemed to vacate while the team struggled. “So it’s my job as the leader of this team to make sure that I acclimate the new four guys to be around a culture that’s built on winning and practicing championship habits,” he said.

Southeast Notes: Wade, Vucevic, Isaac, Wizards

Despite a well-documented friendship, two championships won together as members of the Heat in 2012 and 2013, and having an integral role in bringing King James to Miami back in 2010, Dwyane Wade will not involve himself in the upcoming free agency of LeBron James, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

“No, I don’t have anything to do with it, none of that,” Wade said. “One thing I know is he makes his own decisions. So when we get to that point, hopefully he takes a good look at the place he’s at and gives that real consideration, and then goes from there. It’s his decision and I don’t want nothing to do with it at all.”

As part of his interview with ESPN’s Jorge Sedano, Wade also spoke on his time with the Cavaliers, saying that he is appreciative of General Manager Koby Altman for helping to facilitate his reunion with the Heat.

“As I texted the general manager, Koby, after everything went down, I thanked him for putting me in a good position and also told him, ‘You did one hell of a job to bring the guys that he brought into the organization,'” Wade said. “And it’s not anything negative against the guys that were there, but it just wasn’t working, it wasn’t fitting the way that a championship organization wants to see it fit. And they brought in some good pieces. And so, they’re happy, I’m happy.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • In another piece for the Sun-Sentinel, Winderman reports that Wade will not be held out of back-to-back games as a matter of course as he was during his previous tenure with the Heat. In fact, Wade is active tonight against Philadelphia after playing 21 minutes in last night’s loss to Toronto.
  • Out since December 23 after fracturing the metacarpal of his left index finger in a loss against Washington, Magic center Nikola Vucevic plans to return to the floor for Orlando’s first game back after the All-Star break – against New York on February 22 – reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel“I expect to be back against the Knicks, so I’ll stay in Orlando during the break and keep working on my game,” Vucevic said Monday night. “Then we’ll have two or three good practices before we play the Knicks, so I think it’ll be good for me to use that extra time to work more on my game.”
  • Another injured Magic frontcourt player, rookie Jonathan Isaac, is looking to return soon as well, writes John Denton of NBA.com. Isaac, who has been out since Dec. 26 with recurring right ankle issues, has gained 11 pounds while on what the team called a rehabilitation and conditioning program.
  • Faced with a slew of injuries at the point guard position, the Wizards had to get creative during one recent practice, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. John Wall, Tim Frazier, and Tomas Satoransky are all out with injuries, so Washington, armed with only seven healthy players, used Kamran Sufi, a player development manager, as a point guard during practice. Satoransky returned to the line-up tonight against New York, while Wall and Frazier remain out.

Southeast Notes: Wade, Wall, Brooks, Anderson, Hawks

Dwyane Wade is back with the Heat and he has already played in his first game back. The fans welcomed the three-time NBA champion with open arms, as did the organization. It’s clear that Wade is no longer the perennial All-Star he was for his first 13 seasons, but he appreciates whatever role he is given, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.

“I’m not really concerned with it. I’m not worried with it,” Wade said. “So whatever coach asks from not only me, but all of us to do, that’s what we have to do if we want to win. We just all have to be selfless. So Dwyane Wade will be selfless to make sure whatever it takes for this team to win, that I can hopefully bring.”

Wade, 36, already said that he does not intend to leave the Heat again and wants to retire with the franchise. In the few days Wade has been back, he made it clear that his goal is to help the team in any role.

Check out other Southeast Division notes below:

  • Wizards All-Star John Wall is still on crutches as he recovers from the minor knee surgery he underwent in late January. Wall is still a long way from being back on the court and still likely has another week left on crutches, Candace Bucker of The Washington Post writes.
  • Wall made several media appearances recently where he defended himself and made some controversial remarks in regard to his Wizards teammates, prompting coach Scott Brooks to weigh in on his superstar player and his importance to the team, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “For people to think that we’re not better with John, that’s for clickbait,” Brooks said. “It’s unfortunate that he had to defend himself. You wish he wouldn’t have to. Sometimes you have to.”
  • NBA veteran Alan Anderson has been claimed by the Magic‘s G League affiliate Lakeland Magic, the team announced. The 35-year-old last appeared in the NBA with the Clippers last season.
  • The Hawks cannot take on any more money after the team received nearly $688,000 from the Wizards in the Sheldon Mac deal, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Dwyane Wade Says He Won’t Leave Miami Again

After being traded back to the city where he spent his first 13 NBA seasons, Dwyane Wade plans to finish his career in Miami, relays Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald.

Appearing on NBA TV Friday night after donning a Heat jersey for the first time in more than 20 months, Wade said he never wants to play for another organization. “This is it for me guys,” he stated. “I’m [going to] stay here until I decide to hang it up. This is home. I’m so happy to be back.”

Wade was beloved in Miami, bringing three NBA titles to the city before leaving in 2016 over a salary dispute. He wound up with two bad experiences, spending one season in Chicago before agreeing to a buyout, then signing with a Cavaliers team that became so dysfunctional that management opted for a midseason roster overhaul.

The Heat got Wade at a bargain price, giving up a heavily protected second-round pick in 2024 that will probably never be conveyed. He received a hero’s welcome when his plane landed at the Miami airport, then another when he walked onto the court for Friday’s game.

“It’s right. It sounds right. It’s second nature,” Wade said. “I was telling somebody recently that I was in my kitchen in Cleveland and watching ESPN and something came up and it said Heat versus somebody and I said ‘We play?’ And [then] I’m like ‘That’s right I don’t play in Miami no more.’ So it’s like a thing — every time I see Heat in my mind it was always like ‘We.’ So, it definitely feels good to be here, to be in the locker room.”

It appears the Heat have a long-term arrangement in mind as well. Wade will be a free agent again this summer and the team is capped out, but it can use one of its exceptions to re-sign him. After making the trade Thursday, team president Pat Riley said Wade still has a lot to offer.

Wade doesn’t mind being used as a reserve in Miami after taking on the same role in Cleveland. He also looks forward to serving as a mentor to his new teammates.

“We’ve got so much growth possibility here,” he added. “I’ve got so much to learn about these guys’ talents. I’m excited about it. Like I said, [Friday night] was definitely a good start. We did some good things and like I said we did some things we can learn from. It’s a young team that can get better.”

Cavaliers Notes: Deadline Deals, Wade, LeBron

No NBA team overhauled its roster at the trade deadline more drastically than the Cavaliers, who shipped out six current or former rotation players: Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert, and Channing Frye.

According to general manager Koby Altman, all those deadline deals were as much about repairing the culture in Cleveland as they were about seeking better on-court results. “We were really worried that what was going on on the floor and sort of our culture in the building that we were marching a slow death and we didn’t want to be a part of that,” Altman said on Thursday, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Acknowledging that the veteran players acquired in last summer’s Kyrie Irving trade never really fit in Cleveland, Altman said that those pieces still had enough value to allow the team to go out and acquire players it liked. Altman also hopes Thursday’s deals will re-energize his star player, LeBron James, who has been visibly frustrated this season.

“I don’t want to say he didn’t believe in this group and want to be careful in saying that because he’s going to compete every night and try to get whatever teams he’s on to the Finals,” Altman said of James, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “But I wanted to see a renewed sense of joy in him, and being around him the last 24 hours has been great.”

Here’s more from out of Cleveland:

  • Here’s Altman on the motivation behind the Wade trade with the Heat, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com: “As I started to get closer to deals to bring back youthful wings that I wanted to see play right away, I realized that this was going to be a role for Wade where minutes are going to be reduced, and reduced, and reduced. … I said, ‘Is this fair for Dwyane? Is this something that he signed up for?’ And so, we explored that with Miami. I wanted to make sure that I talked to LeBron about that. Because Dwyane did come in large part because of LeBron, and because of the situation here. And we wanted to give Dwyane the option. ‘Do you want to be a part of this? No one’s telling you that you have to go by any means, but, we want to give you a chance to go home.’ I think he and his representation were very, very appreciative of that.”
  • While LeBron hasn’t spoken publicly about the Cavs’ deadline deals, multiple reports suggest that he’s on board with the moves. One league source called the moves “win-win” in terms of competing now and constructing a roster built for long-term success, per Vardon. Meanwhile, Sam Amick of USA Today writes that the “behind-the-scenes reaction from James’ inner circle was a resounding thumbs-up.”
  • LeBron didn’t commit to the Cavs beyond this year before the team completed its series of moves, according to Vardon, who adds that Altman and owner Dan Gilbert didn’t ask the four-time MVP for that sort of commitment.
  • One league executive who spoke to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News believes the Cavs significantly improved their chances of re-signing James this offseason as a result of their deadline-day trades. “Even if they don’t win this year, they’ve given themselves room to grow,” that exec told Deveney.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe takes an in-depth look at the Cavaliers’ deadline, and is generally in favor of the team’s moves, questioning only the decision to give up a first-round pick while taking on Jordan Clarkson in the swap with the Lakers. Citing league sources, Lowe also notes that the Cavs wouldn’t have been able to acquire Avery Bradley from the Clippers without surrendering a first-round pick.

Cavaliers Trade Dwyane Wade To Heat

4:14pm: The Heat have officially acquired Wade from the Cavs, the team announced today in a press release. Miami sent out a protected 2024 second-round pick in the deal, waiving A.J. Hammons to create a spot on the roster for Wade.dwyane wade vertical

“We feel that Dwyane can help our team in so many ways,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. “It is a beautiful moment for us, for the city and for the fans. All of us embrace it in the manner that we want to win and that’s why we brought Dwyane back home. We look forward to having a great end of season run as we fight for the playoffs.”

12:14pm: Dwyane Wade is coming home to Miami, confirms Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The Cavaliers will receive a heavily protected second-round pick in return (Twitter link). ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported the deal earlier today, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.

The trade is part of a day-long shakeup in Cleveland as the Cavs ship out veterans in favor of younger, more athletic wing players. Wojnarowski reports that the front office offered Wade a chance to return to the franchise where he spent his first 13 seasons and worked out a deal when he accepted.

The Cavaliers’ coaching staff was planning a reduced role for Wade going forward and he had been campaigning for a return to Miami behind the scenes, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (Twitter link).

“The Cavs did right by him,” a source close to Wade and LeBron James tells Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Wade signed a one-year deal with Cleveland in late September after agreeing to a buyout with the Bulls. He began the season as a starter, but asked to come off the bench after three games and became an effective leader of the second team. However, the return of Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose from injuries created a logjam in the backcourt and Wade’s role become less defined.

It’s not clear how much of a future he will have at age 36 on a relatively young Heat team. Regardless, it’s an excellent public relations move for Miami to erase the memories of a bitter breakup in the summer of 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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