Dwyane Wade

Eastern Rumors: Embiid, Wade, Kander, Magic

Joel Embiid‘s ability to work out this summer without restrictions may turn out to be the Sixers’ biggest offseason improvement, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic details. Embiid has always been in rehab mode from foot or knee injuries during his previous offseasons, Bodner notes. This summer, Embiid has been working with renown skills coach Drew Hanlen to refine his offensive game, which could vault Embiid into a greater level of dominance and consistency, Bodner continues. Hanlen has put a great emphasis on making Embiid virtually unstoppable in the low post while also creating more open looks for his teammates and committing fewer turnovers, Bodner adds.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • If Dwyane Wade returns to the Heat, he’ll be part of the rotation, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Adding Wade to the backcourt would create a logjam that would likely cut dramatically into Tyler Johnson‘s minutes, Winderman adds. Wade has indicated if he plays next season, it will be with the Heat.
  • Former Pistons strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander has turned down a position with the franchise but will remain in a consultant’s role, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Kander, who worked with the team for 23 seasons, has given the front office input on its search for a new medical director and has also been involved in Reggie Jackson‘s offseason training, Ellis continues. Last season’s director of sports medicine and head trainer, Jon Ishop, is no longer with the organization, Ellis adds.
  • The Magic will not host the All-Star Game until at least 2024, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. The franchise put in a bid to host the 2023 All-Star Weekend and were informed by league officials that another location will be selected, Robbins continues. The sites for the next three All-Star Games have already been set, starting with Charlotte next season, and Orlando can’t host in 2022 because of a major convention in the city, Robbins adds.

‘Heat Only’ For Dwyane Wade

Forget about any possibility of Dwyane Wade continuing his career in China next season, tweets Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. Wade still hasn’t made a final decision on whether to keep playing, but if he does it will be in Miami.

“Heat only,” Wade said today in an appearance at the Jr. NBA World Championships in Orlando. “If I play the game of basketball this year it will be in a Miami uniform. If I don’t I’ll be living in Miami or somewhere else probably.”

Wade reportedly received a three-year, $25MM offer last month to join the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association. He’s a well-known figure in China and visited the nation in July for the announcement of a lifetime contract with Li-Ning, a Chinese apparel company.

Wade’s insistence to play in Miami is consistent with his reaction when the Cavaliers traded him to the Heat in February. After spending his first 13 NBA seasons in South Florida, Wade left in 2016 over a salary dispute, but never seemed comfortable in Chicago or Cleveland. He averaged 12.0 PPG in 21 contests after returning to Miami last season and helped the Heat reach the playoffs.

There are rumors that Wade wants at least some of the team’s $5.34MM taxpayer mid-level exception before he’ll agree to re-sign. The Heat are already in luxury-tax territory and would prefer to have Wade return on a veteran’s minimum deal that would pay him $2.4MM.

Wade also told reporters he doesn’t see any urgency to make a decision soon, although team president Pat Riley recently said he expects to a decision by mid-August.

The Heat have 13 players under contract, in addition to a pair of two-way players, with two spots being kept open for Wade and Udonis Haslem, who also hasn’t decided whether to continue his NBA career. Miami already has a crowded backcourt, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel, with Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Rodney McGruder already in place and Dion Waiters returning from ankle surgery.

“As much as I would love to be back, you got so many different things that you look at, that I have to look at,” Wade said. “My teammates have been great. The young guys, you want to be there for them, but, also, you want to play. So it’s a lot of different things that come into play there. But, ultimately, no matter what happens, I’m a Lifer, Miami Heat for life.”

Heat Notes: Wade, Winslow, T. Johnson, R. Anderson

Dwyane Wade‘s decision on whether to return for a 16th season remains on hold as he concentrates on his duties as official ambassador to the Jr. NBA World Championships this week, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The inaugural event for 13- and 14-year-olds is being held at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.

Wade didn’t offer any clues to his future, but he said it was gratifying to return to Miami in a February trade after a frustrating half season with the Cavaliers.

“I enjoyed being around the guys,” he said. “Obviously, I didn’t like the fact we lost 4-1 [to the Philadelphia 76ers] in the playoffs. But for me to get back to my comfort zone and show that being in the right situation with the right opportunities that I could still play this game — maybe not above the rim but play the game at a level that can help the team be successful — all those things for me were great.”

While contemplating his future, Wade has spent much of the summer watching his son, Zaire, play in AAU events. Much like LeBron James did in opting to join the Lakers, Wade said family concerns will play a big role in determining his future.

“Every decision at this point,” he said, “especially in a professional athlete’s career, at 36 years old, a lot of it surrounds their families and what’s best for them and their families.”

There’s more this morning from Miami:

  • Justise Winslow tells Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated there was some “animosity” when Wade left Miami two years ago to sign with the Bulls. Wade felt disrespected by the offers he was getting from the Heat and opted to maximize his earning potential in Chicago. Winslow, who considered Wade a mentor, said they had some heated exchanges in their first game after the move, but have since worked things out.
  • Winslow, who is eligible for an extension this summer, doesn’t care if a long-term deal is worked out right away or in free agency next year, Nadkarni adds in the same piece. After injuries limited to 18 games in 2016/17, Winslow bounced back strong last season, showing the versatility the Heat were hoping for when they drafted him 10th overall in 2015.
  • A rumored trade that would send Tyler Johnson to the Rockets for Ryan Anderson may not make sense for Miami, Winderman writes in a mailbag column. Anderson has a slightly larger contract, making $20.4MM and $21.3MM over the next two seasons compared to $19.2MM each for Johnson. Winderman doesn’t see a trade happening unless the Heat can unload more salary.

Heat Notes: Waiters, Johnson, Newman, McGruder

The Heat may use Dion Waiters as the primary backup to starting point guard Goran Dragic if Waiters’ ankle issues are behind him, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Coach Erik Spoelstra was using Waiters in a playmaking role before he was sidelined last season. Tyler Johnson isn’t suited for that role, Winderman continues, because he expends too much effort and takes too time advancing the ball. Spoelstra tends to use a variety of players who take turns handling the ball, which is why there is uncertainty about that role aside from Dragic.

In other news regarding the team:

  • Miami has made Johnson, Hassan Whiteside and Waiters available in trade talks this summer but hasn’t found much of a market for the trio, two unnamed league GMs told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Heat’s best chance of falling under the luxury-tax threshold would be moving Johnson for a player making less money, Jackson adds.
  • The Heat agreed to a contract with former Kansas guard Malik Newman with the intent of making him a G League affiliate player, Winderman writes in a separate story. Those deals are limited to a $50K guarantee. The team has already filled both of its two-contract slots with Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten, while the regular roster already has five rotation options at the guard spots with the possibility of Dwyane Wade making that situation even more muddled if he’s re-signed.
  • Finding a steady role for Rodney McGruder will be a challenge for Spoelstra next season, Winderman writes in another mailbag. McGruder was a starter when Miami made its second-half run in 2016/17, Winderman notes, but a leg injury sidetracked him last season. With Josh Richardson and Waiters starting at the wing spots and Justise Winslow, Johnson and Wayne Ellington as options behind them, it’s tough to see where McGruder fits in, Winderman adds.

Dwyane Wade Remains Noncommittal On Future

Asked on Monday about his plans for the upcoming NBA season, Dwyane Wade remained noncommittal, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Wade’s options include a return to the Heat, a deal overseas, or possible retirement, but he’s not ready to announce any decision quite yet.

“In due time,” Wade said. “Time will tell.”

Wade is considered extremely unlikely to play for any NBA team besides the Heat at this point in his career, but there’s no guarantee he’ll continue his playing career at all — and no guarantee he’ll do so in the NBA. A team in China reportedly made Wade a three-year offer worth $25MM, though it’s not clear whether that proposal is still on the table.

According to Reynolds (via Twitter), Wade said today that “every decision” he makes going forward will hinge in large part on what’s best for his family. Reading between the lines, Wade may not view a move to China for the next three years as being in his family’s best interests, though it’d represent a larger payday than he could receive in the NBA.

The Heat have been waiting to hear from both Wade and Udonis Haslem about whether or not they want to continue playing in Miami, and have kept roster spots open for both players. If Haslem returns, he’d get a minimum-salary contract, but a new deal with Wade may require some negotiations.

Reports have indicated that Wade may be seeking the Heat’s $5.34MM taxpayer mid-level exception, and Pat Riley said last week that owner Micky Arison would have a major say in that decision, since Miami’s team salary is already into luxury-tax territory.

Pat Riley Talks Wade, Haslem, Winslow, Whiteside

The futures of Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem remain uncertain for now, but Heat president Pat Riley said today on a conference call that he expects both players to make decisions within the next few weeks on whether or not they want to return to Miami. While Wade and Haslem have reportedly received overseas interest, there’s a belief that both players are more likely to either re-sign with the Heat or retire.

As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details, Riley said that he expects to have some clarity on both players by the middle of August. The Heat president also spoke specifically about the club’s desire to re-sign Wade.

“I want Dwyane back as a player, a guy who wants to have the greatest year he’s ever had as a player,” Riley said of the longtime Heat star. “I read more articles about Dwyane might not have the same motivation, but I still see a player who can contribute heavily if he really wants to. If he plays, he’s going to want to do it. We don’t want him back as a placemat holder or someone who’s going to be a veteran in the locker room. Dwyane is a great player, a great talent. He can make a big difference for us.”

There have been reports indicating that Wade would want the $5.337MM taxpayer mid-level exception if he returns to the Heat, but Riley deflected an inquiry about whether the team would be willing to offer its MLE, suggesting that’s a question for owner Micky Arison.

Here’s more from Riley, via Jackson:

  • Riley dismissed the idea that he’s frustrated by not being able to make any real upgrades to last year’s roster, telling reporters that “continuity is important” for the club.
  • The Heat have been in touch with Justise Winslow‘s agent, but discussions about a rookie scale contract extension are unlikely to become serious until later in the offseason. “We are going to address that in late August, once everything dies down,” Riley said. “We look at Justise as one of our anchor pieces. We will have that extension discussion in late August. We don’t have to do anything until mid-October.”
  • Riley confirmed that the Heat haven’t been willing to surrender young players and picks in order to trade highly-priced veterans this offseason. “We have had opportunities this summer to do that a lot and it wasn’t worth getting rid of our young assets or picks coming up, so we decided to stand pat with team that we have,” he said.
  • According to Riley, there have been “great discussions” between head coach Erik Spoelstra and disgruntled center Hassan Whiteside. Riley says he expects Whiteside to have a big year in 2018/19 and claimed that the big man “has not been shopped all over the league.”

Southeast Notes: Howard, Wade, Hawks, Graham

Expectations are rising for the Wizards after the addition of Dwight Howard, and team officials are happy to join in, writes Tyler Byrum of NBC Sports Washington. The Wizards were able to add Howard at a bargain price following his buyout with the Nets, giving him about $11MM over two years with a player option on the second season.

Howard joins a team that already has two All-Stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal, along with young talent in Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre. Washington fortified its bench, a weak spot in recent years, with offseason moves to pick up Austin Rivers, Jeff Green and Troy Brown.

“This is probably the deepest team that we’ve had and maybe the most talented,” said GM Ernie Grunfeld. “I think it is a very deep team with a lot of versatile players that could play multiple positions. We can put a lot of different lineups out there; we can go really big and we can go really small.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Dwyane Wade has a two- to three-day window to accept a three-year, $25MM offer in China, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The Zhejiang Golden Bulls will start looking at other foreign players if Wade doesn’t respond in that time frame. Wade, meanwhile is considered a strong bet to return to the Heat if he continues his NBA career.
  • Tonight’s agreements with Vince Carter and Daniel Hamilton will bring the Hawks to 15 guaranteed contracts once their signings become official, posts Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. Carter will receive a $2.4MM veteran’s minimum deal that will count $1.5MM toward the salary cap. Hamilton will receive a minimum contract worth $1.35MM. The Hawks used most of their $4.4MM room exception to sign Alex Len and have both two-way slots filled with Jaylen Adams and Alex Poythress.
  • Hornets rookie Devonte’ Graham apparently won’t need surgery on his injured right knee, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. A cartilage issue was discovered in the knee earlier this month, but specialists believe it will heal on its own. A team spokesman said Graham will resume basketball activity on a “conservative schedule.” He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.

Southeast Notes: Wade, Winslow, Magic, Hawks

While word surfaced earlier this week that a team in the Chinese Basketball Association has offered Dwyane Wade a three-year contract worth $25MM, Rodney McGruder would like to see the future Hall-of-Famer stick with the Heat.

“I hope he stays with us,” McGruder said of his Heat teammate on Tuesday, per Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. “That’s his personal decision, but I would love to have him back. … I’ve got a sense that he wants to play in the NBA [based off of] when he came back to play for us [at the February trade deadline] and the things that he showed in the playoffs.”

Although Wade hasn’t announced any decisions yet, international basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link) is told that the rumblings linking Wade to China “aren’t as serious as advertised.”

According to Pick, the Zhejiang Golden Bulls – the club that reportedly made that $25MM offer to Wade – have secured another scorer for the upcoming season by agreeing to sign Marcus Denmon to a $1.2MM deal. A former Missouri standout, Denmon was a second-round pick in the 2012 draft but never appeared in an NBA regular season game.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

Chinese Team Offering ‘Monster Deal’ To Dwyane Wade?

JULY 24: According to a report from Zhang Duo, relayed by Sportando, a three-year, $25MM offer is on the table for Wade. However, the latest report suggests it’s the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, rather than the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, who made that offer.

JULY 21: As Dwyane Wade ponders whether or not he wants to return for a 16th NBA season, another option overseas reportedly may now exist. The Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association are reportedly prepared to offer Wade a “monster deal” to join the team (via Sportando).

Wade, 36, returned to the Heat at midseason in 2017/18 following a trade from the Cavaliers. The 12-time All-Star averaged 12.0 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 21 games with Miami, showing flashes of his prior success. However, earlier this week, Wade — currently in the midst of a promotional tour in China — was mum on his future plans.

“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.”

The Heat’s options to re-sign Wade are limited to their $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception and the $2.4MM minimum salary given Wade’s NBA tenure.

Wade’s longtime teammate and close friend, Udonis Haslem, has said he may continue his career overseas next season in search of more playing time. While Wade would still be a factor for the Heat if he returned, if his close friend considers playing in China, it may increase the odds of him following suit.

Clark Crum contributed to this post.

Heat Notes: Wade, Q. Richardson, Winslow, Leonard

Dwyane Wade will wait until he returns from a trip to China before deciding whether to play next season, relays Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Wade traveled overseas to announce a lifetime contract with Chinese apparel company Li-Ning, continuing a relationship that began in 2012. Although financial terms were not disclosed, the deal is believed to pay Wade tens of millions of dollars.

“Right now, I’m focused on the game after basketball,” Wade said when asked about his NBA career. “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. The basketball will take care of itself. I’ll sit down and figure that out once I get back from this tour at some point.”

There’s more today out of Miami:

  • Former Heat player Quentin Richardson, who will return to Miami this weekend as part of the Big3 tour, tells Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel he hopes to see Wade play at least one more season. “I think it’ll come down to what his passion is and what he feels like he has left,” Richardson said. “Look at Manu Ginobili, I feel like he can play a few more years like Manu did and be as good if not better as he has been. In my eyes, I still think he has something left. That’s ultimately a decision that comes down to him and his family.”
  • The Heat must decide soon if Justise Winslow is worth a long-term investment, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. With three years of NBA service, Winslow is eligible for an extension this summer. If the Heat don’t work out an agreement prior to the start of the regular season, Winslow will be a restricted free agent next offseason. A team source tells Jackson that no decision has been made on whether to make an extension offer, but it doesn’t appear the Heat have been entertaining trade offers for Winslow.
  • Miami lost out on Kawhi Leonard because it didn’t have a star to offer the Spurs, Winderman writes in a separate piece. The Heat might have been able to offer a combination of young talent in Winslow, Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo, but San Antonio wanted a scorer who contribute right away, and Miami doesn’t have anyone like DeMar DeRozan.