Dwyane Wade

Heat Notes: Draft, Ellington, Langford

Should the Heat enter the sweepstakes for the No. 4 overall pick? Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel believes it depends on the cost.

The scribe isn’t a fan of the team sending away Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, or Bam Adebayo in a deal, though if a trade was structured around one of their player-friendly contracts, such as Dion Waiters or James Johnson, an additional player and the No. 13, moving up would make more sense.

Here’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat could use Wayne Ellington back, but luxury tax concerns may put him out of the team’s price range, Winderman notes in the same piece. Miami began last season with great depth in the backcourt but that’s no longer the case after the team sent Ellington, Rodney McGruder, and Tyler Johnson away and watched Dwyane Wade retire.
  • Romeo Langford (Indiana) met with the Heat today, Evan Daniels of 247 Sports tweets. Langford’s busy day also includes a meeting with the Pelicans. He has previously visited Cleveland, Atlanta, and Minnesota.
  • The Heat also worked out Sekou Doumbouya (France), according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Doumbouya is expected to go in the lottery.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Walker, Hornets

The Heat missed the playoffs for the third time in the past five years this spring, heading into the offseason with more questions about their roster than answers.

The steady decline in playing time for Hassan Whiteside, potential position change for Justise Winslow and important draft in June are among Miami’s biggest factors to address, and that’s without including Goran Dragic‘s player option decision or Dion Waiters‘ major weight loss goal.

“I would like to continue to grow within that point guard role [next season], but I don’t want the narrative to be between me and Goran, us fighting for that position,” Winslow said, as relayed by David Furones of the Sun Sentinel.

Winslow started at point guard with Dragic sidelined for part of the season, then failed to find a defined role upon his return.

“We’re both unselfish guys, and I’ve learned so much from him. If James Harden and Chris Paul can play together, then I think me and Goran can play together.”

Miami has a strong coaching staff and front office regime capable of turning the ship around, but the absence of future Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade will surely leave a void. The team will look to regroup in the offseason with hopes of contending for the playoffs next year.

“The time without him was different, but I think we showed ourselves that we’re capable,” Heat guard Josh Richardson said of Wade. “We’re all wiser, better basketball players, so I’m excited to see how this summer and everything plays out.”

There’s more today from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat could benefit from waiting one year before striking in free agency, Ira Winderman writes in his mailbag for the Sun Sentinel. Aside from lacking cap space (unless Whiteside and Dragic opt out), Miami could use next season to further develop the likes of Richardson, Winslow, Bam Adebayo and Derrick Jones Jr. before placing a major focus on the open market.
  • Frank Urbina of HoopsHype examines the potential landing spots for Hornets guard Kemba Walker, who’s set to enter unrestricted free agency in July. Along with the Hornets, Walker has been linked to the Knicks, Mavericks and Pacers throughout the season. “I have no feeling right now, I don’t know,” Walker said of his impending decision, according to ESPN. “Honestly, I don’t know what to expect. I guess it’s a lot of different emotions bottled up into one. I’m not sure. I don’t know.”
  • The Hornets must show Walker how they’re going to win next season and beyond if they hope to re-sign him this summer, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. “I want to win; I want to win,” Walker said during his player interviews. When asked what the Hornets need to do in order to keep him, Walker replied, “They know,” according to Bonnell.

Southeast Notes: Green, Wade, Young, Heat

Jeff Green has played for six teams since the 2014/15 season and he’d like to stay put for a change. The veteran forward said he “would love to come back” to the Wizards, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. Green is averaging 12.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 1.8 APG for Washington. Green, 32, signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Wizards last summer and will be an unrestricted free agent once again.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Dwyane Wade said he’ll probably need a therapist after he retires at the end of the season, as he told Rachel Nichols of ESPN“It is going to be a big change. This is what I know, like, my life has been this,” he said. “I told my wife I need to do therapy and we need to do a little bit. I was always against someone that don’t know me telling me how to live my life or giving me instructions. But I need someone to talk to about it. Because it is a big change.”
  • Hawks point guard Trae Young hopes that voters look at the body of work when deciding the Rookie of the Year award, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports. Luka Doncic looked like the runaway victor but Young’s strong second half has made it a much closer race. “This is a season-long award,” Young said. “Early on, everybody was saying (Doncic) was Rookie of the Year and deservedly so. He was playing really well, and I wasn’t playing the best. I was still playing well. In the second half, it’s flipped. … If you do a full-season look, it’s definitely closer than some people think.”
  • The Heat need to add another player to the roster by Sunday to get back to 14 on the 15-player roster, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel points out. They might even add two players and could convert the two-way contracts of Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten to standard contracts to make them playoff eligible. However, that would also boost their qualifying offers from $50K to $1.4MM apiece, Winderman notes.

Wade Says He’d Be Able To Play 2-3 More Years

Despite ongoing efforts from friends, opponents, and fans to change his mind, Dwyane Wade is sticking to his plan to retire from the NBA at the end of the 2018/19 season. However, that’s not to say he doesn’t believe he could keep playing if he wanted to. Speaking to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Wade said the thinks he could play “a solid two more years,” at least.

“Especially in this role that I’m in now, I can play another two, three years, definitely,” Wade said. “People around me want me to keep playing. But I made the decision to say this was my last season and I wanted to walk away the way I’m walking away now and have no regrets about it.”

Wade, who turned 37 in January, set new career lows in minutes and points per game last season, but has reversed that trend this year, averaging 14.3 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.8 RPG in 63 games (25.6 MPG) for the Heat. The 13-time All-Star has played particularly well lately as Miami pushes to secure a playoff spot, scoring 15.5 PPG with a .462 FG% and a .340 3PT% over his last 18 games.

Still, Wade acknowledges that it has been difficult at times to figure out how much he can – and should – do on the court, as he looks to pass the baton to some of his younger teammates.

“It’s a tough balance, man. I know I can’t do what I used to do. I know I can keep playing,” Wade told Charania. “… There are moments where I want to get involved, but my number may not be called so I stay out of the way. The competitor in you wants to go, but you also understand where you’re at. There are other guys that they have to get their game going, and coach has to make sure their number is called. I’m trying to enjoy this process. We’re fighting for the playoffs here late in my career, so it’s been amazing.”

As for his retirement decision, Wade appreciates that many people around him would like to see him keep playing, but is confident that he’s making the right call.

“A decision like that has to be on you. It has to be a you thing,” Wade said. “People want you to keep going for selfish reasons. No one knows what you’re dealing with. I’ve always had support from people around me. Even now, you hear from people. Everyone wanting you to keep playing. But you have to understand yourself, understand your body.”

Heat Notes: Bosh, Adebayo, Waiters, Johnson, Wade

The Heat are set to retire Chris Bosh‘s jersey on Tuesday during halftime of their match-up against the Magic, celebrating Bosh’s career in Miami and closing the book on a positive note.

Bosh, whose six seasons with the Heat included two NBA championships and four Finals appearances, was forced to end his career early after being diagnosed with blood clots in 2015 and 2016. He wanted to return to the team following the diagnosis, but the chance of greater injury — or worse — was too much to risk for both the Heat and the rest of the league.

Micky [Arison] and Pat [Riley] — and this is one thing I have to get straight with people all the time — we never not talked,” Bosh said, as relayed by Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “We communicated through this whole ordeal. And my message was always the same, ‘I want to play the game. I want to explore more options to be able to play.'”

Bosh eventually accepted the reality that his playing days were over, recently confirming his retirement from the NBA. In addition to winning two titles, Bosh was an 11-time All-Star, a dominant force capable of scoring from inside and out. His ability to stretch the floor at the center position helped turn the game into what it is today, with more and more teams testing five-shooter lineups each season.

“You can’t live two lives,” Bosh admitted. “I’m going to parent-teacher conferences with my kids, and there’s these different things to get done throughout the day — and I’m trying to get a workout in. The longer I went without playing games, or having a contract or anything, the more difficult it got, the more fire I lost.”

There’s more today out of Miami:

  • In a separate article for the Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman ponders whether the expectations for Bam Adebayo should increase. Adebayo has started the last 14 games in place of Hassan Whiteside, who has seen inconsistent playing time off the bench. Miami went 10-4 during that stretch.
  • Dion Waiters and James Johnson are exploding back onto the scene just in time for the Heat, Winderman opines. Johnson (sports hernia) and Waiters (ankle surgery) have mostly been away from the Heat over the last calendar year, but both contributed to the team’s win in Washington on Saturday night. “I feel explosive these last four games, to be honest,” Johnson said. Both players are working to regain their stamina and consistency as the team makes a final push to contend for the playoffs.
  • Add Scott Brooks, Jeff Green and Tomas Satoransky to the long list of NBA figures who believe Dwyane Wade shouldn’t retire after the season. “The NBA needs to just fine the Miami Heat for allowing him to retire,” Brooks said, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “They should not allow him to retire. He’s too good to retire. I hope he changes his mind.” Wade has heard this frequently since announcing his decision to retire, but is adamant that he won’t reverse course. His final regular-season game is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10 against the Nets at Barclays Center.

Dwyane Wade Open To Forming Group In Pursuit Of Owning NBA Team

Dwyane Wade‘s playing career is coming to an end and the 13-time All-Star would like to own an NBA team. The Heat would be his first choice, though owner Micky Arison has shown no interest in selling, so a minority ownership role appears to be the only available way to own a piece of the team he helped lead to three championships.

If Wade joins the franchise in such a role, he would want to be involved in personnel decisions to some extent, as he tells Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

“You want to learn that side,” Wade said of the front office. “You want to be a continued part of helping the game grow. For me, I would love to be a continued part of helping this organization grow.”

Wade added that he wouldn’t need to have final say on basketball decisions, telling Jackson that he wouldn’t want to have that “pressure” on him.

“Right now, you just want to get your feet wet,” Wade said of his willingness to be a minority owner during his first venture. “I’m definitely open to seeing what the possibilities are and go from there.”

The three-time NBA champion plans to reach out to Hornets owner Michael Jordan and Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson to discuss life as a professional franchise owner. Wade added that he has spoken with long-time teammate Udonis Haslem about the possibility of being an owner of an NBA club.

“Our conversations have been more about owning a team, not owning this team,” Haslem explained. “That would be amazing. I would never thought I would be owning Subways, Starbucks and Einsteins, so who’s to say that would be out of my cards? It’s definitely possible.”

Haslem is planning to play at least one more season, while Wade is unlikely to join him for it.

Heat Notes: Wade, Ellington, Dragic, Draft Age

Coach Erik Spoelstra cites “an instant and inherent built-in level of urgency” for the Heat to reach the playoffs in Dwyane Wade‘s final season, relays Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Miami is stuck in ninth place at 26-31, a game behind the Pistons, whom they host tonight. Wade announced before the start of the season that this would be his final year in the NBA, and the organization wants to send him off with a playoff appearance.

Wade won’t be moved into the starting lineup, but Spoelstra plans to expand his role. Wade has remained productive in his 16th season, averaging 14.1 points per night in 47 games, all as a reserve.

“You can see what’s happening,” Spoelstra said. “He’s going to be starting to play starter’s minutes. We’ve made it through this far of the season and he’s feeling great. We’ve protected each other to this point — but now it’s go time. I’m going to keep the dynamics as much as I can the same. I don’t want too many moving parts this late in the season.”

There’s more Heat news to pass along:

  • Miami will see a couple of players in the next three days who were traded just before the deadline, Winderman adds in the same story. The Pistons feature Wayne Ellington, who wasn’t getting consistent playing time in Miami, and Spoelstra said the organization worked with Ellington’s representatives to find him a better situation. “He decided at this point of his career he wanted to go to a place where he could play going into free agency,” Spoelstra explained. Tyler Johnson and the Suns will face the Heat on Monday.
  • Goran Dragic will play tonight for the first time since having knee surgery in December, but his minutes will be limited, Winderman tweets.
  • Wade is a strong proponent of lowering the draft age so that players who believe they’re ready for the NBA won’t be forced into a year of college basketball, Winderman adds in a separate piece. The NBA submitted a proposal to the players union this week to lower the draft age from 19 to 18, but the change that won’t take effect until 2022 if it’s approved. “I just think the rule should be that if a guy, if he’s good enough to come out at 18, at 17, he should be able to,” Wade said. “Just like other sports and other things in the world, you’re able to go to the war early.”

Adam Silver Calls Tanking “Corrosive”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke out against tanking today in his annual All-Star Weekend address, calling the practice “corrosive,” relays Marc Berman of The New York Post.

“I, personally, don’t think it’s a winning strategy over the long term to engage in multiple years of rebuilding,’’ Silver said. “There’s a mindset that, if you’re going to be bad, you might as well be really bad. I believe personally that’s corrosive for those organizations.”

Silver lives in New York, Berman notes, and has daily exposure to the Knicks, who dropped 18 consecutive games before beating the Hawks on Thursday. The league changed its rules this year to reduce the benefits of having the worst overall record, giving equal odds at the top pick to the three bottom teams. However, the move hasn’t had the desired effect as the Knicks, Suns, Cavaliers and Bulls are far separated from the rest of the NBA in our latest Reverse Standings. The allure of adding a star such as Duke’s Zion Williamson is too tempting, even with the new odds.

“I’m pretty sure we acknowledged at the time we didn’t think we’d solve the problem,’’ Silver said, hinting that additional changes may be on the way.

Here are some more highlights from Silver’s speech:

  • The commissioner believes the recent trend of high-profile players making public trade requests is harmful to the league, relays Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. Pelicans center Anthony Davis is the latest star asking to be moved — a story dominated the trade deadline and figures to loom over everything else this summer. “I don’t like trade demands, and I wish they didn’t come,” Silver stated. “I wish all those matters were handled behind closed doors. . . . I think we could do a better job as a league in avoiding those situations that get to the point where players are demanding to be traded or, in a worst-case scenario, saying they won’t honor their contract.”
  • Silver brushed aside concerns that small-market teams can’t compete in the NBA, according to Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. The commissioner noted that the league has remained popular even with both New York teams, both Los Angeles teams and Chicago all missing the playoffs last season. “If you look at the success of the so-called big markets in the last five years, they’ve been at an all-time low in terms of their success on the floor,” he said. “… We didn’t have the traditional big market teams even playing in the playoffs.”
  • Silver admitted that the move to add Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade to the All-Star Game was suggested by a fan’s email, tweets ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

LeBron, Wade Interested In Eventually Owning NBA Teams

Michael Jordan is the only former NBA great who currently serves as the majority owner of one of the league’s 30 teams. However, LeBron James – who is often mentioned alongside Jordan in discussions on the league’s all-time best players – would like to join the former Bulls great in the ownership ranks someday. And, as Joe Vardon explains in an interesting piece for The Athletic, James is uniquely positioned to actually make it happen.

According to Vardon, if James were to retire today and an NBA franchise went up for sale tomorrow, the four-time MVP would be in position to place a bid, given his net worth, his connections, and the cache he has built up around the league.

“Ain’t no maybe about it, I’m going to do that s–t,” James told Vardon, referring to eventually owning an NBA franchise.

As Vardon outlines, James doesn’t have “Steve Ballmer money” and couldn’t just write a check to purchase an NBA franchise outright, but a majority owner is only required to purchase 15% of a team’s shares. While LeBron’s estimated net worth is $450MM, per Forbes, that estimate likely undershoots the actual figure, according to Vardon, who notes that James has made a number of private investments and maneuvers in recent years that would push the number higher.

With the right group of investors and partners, James would easily be able to put together a group capable of making a strong bid for any franchise that goes up for sale, as LeBron’s business associate Paul Wachter tells Vardon.

“I would say it would take about five calls to find partners if LeBron wanted to pull together an ownership group,” Wachter said. “If LeBron sat down with his team to discuss it, it would take maybe two or three calls apiece. I could tell you people I’d call to be involved now, but of course LeBron has his own ideas and Maverick [Carter] has his ideas.”

This is, of course, unlikely to happen anytime soon, as James is in the first season of a four-year contract with the Lakers and is planning to continue playing beyond that deal, per Vardon. However, when the time comes, it sounds like LeBron will be ready, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote in his own story on the subject earlier this week.

Meanwhile, James’ good friend Dwyane Wade is headed for retirement at season’s end, and while Wade isn’t necessarily as well positioned to purchase a franchise, the idea of owning a team intrigues him too, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Wade has previously mentioned the appeal of becoming part of an ownership group that would bring the NBA back to Seattle, but told reporters this week that he’s not solely focused on one city.

“I love Seattle,” Wade said. “It’s great, Unfortunately it’s not a part of the NBA. When a question was asked what franchise you want to see back, Seattle was one for me. And we talking about who I want to be ownership of, Miami has first dibs and then I go from there. … Obviously, this organization (the Heat) is the first one I would love to talk about that when the time is right.”

As Jackson observes, Heat majority owner Micky Arison hasn’t shown any interest in selling the club, but he might – hypothetically – be open to selling a small share of the franchise to Wade, who could serve as a minority stakeholder after he retires as a player. As with LeBron though, that’s likely a discussion to be had down the road.

LeBron, Giannis Draft 2019 All-Star Teams

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo drafted their teams for the 2019 All-Star Game on Thursday, officially finalizing the rosters for this year’s contest. James and Antetokounmpo were chosen as captains because they were the All-Star starter from each conference with the most fan votes.

Both James and Antetokounmpo first had to select from a pool of starters, then from a list of reserve players. The starters, which consisted of eight other players, were voted on by the fans, players and media this season. The reserve players were voted on by the NBA’s 30 head coaches.

James drafted Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden as starters, choosing Durant as his first selection. His reserves were Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal and Dwyane Wade.

Antetokounmpo drafted Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Paul George and Kemba Walker as his starters, selecting Curry with his first pick. He drafted Khris Middleton, Nikola Jokic, Ben Simmons, Blake Griffin, D’Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic, Kyle Lowry and Dirk Nowitzki as his reserves.

James later traded Westbrook to Team Giannis in exchange for Simmons, making an effort to repair the relationship of Westbrook and Embiid.

The 68th NBA All-Star Game is set to commence on February 17 at Spectrum Center, featuring 26 of the best basketball players in the world.