Dwyane Wade

Heat Notes: Wade, Haslem, Winslow, Weber

Speaking to reporters today at the Heat‘s Media Day, Dwyane Wade admitted that he was “90-10” on retiring after last season, and is now ready to enter his final year in the NBA, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. No matter how Miami’s season plays out, Wade is comfortable and at peace with his decision, noting that he’d like to remain “around the game” after retiring as a player.

Meanwhile, longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem joked today that he’ll retire when Wade does, but later clarified that he has yet to make a decision on his own future, opting to take it year by year (Twitter link via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald). Haslem and Wade both entered the NBA in 2003 and have been teammates for all but one season since then.

Here’s more out of South Beach:

  • Justise Winslow acknowledged today that it’s hard not to think about his contract situation with an October 15 deadline for a rookie scale extension looming (Twitter link via Ira Winderman). However, he said he’ll be fine with or without a new deal in place by that time. Winslow added that he has met with the Heat front office about an extension.
  • Briante Weber has spent most of his career in the G League, but he doesn’t feel like that’s an option as he tries to earn a roster spot with the Heat, relays Barry Jackson. “I’ve pretty much done everything I could in the G-League,” Weber said. “There’s nothing else for me to do down there. My game speaks for itself down there. I am here for the NBA.”
  • In another article for The Miami Herald, Barry Jackson rounded up all of Erik Spoelstra‘s notable comments from today’s Media Day presser, including the head coach’s thoughts on Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and Miami’s roster versatility.
  • Earlier today, we passed along word that James Johnson may not be healthy in time for the Heat’s regular season opener.

Southeast Notes: Dedmon, Anderson, Wade, Pope, Hornets

Center Dewayne Dedmon and swingman Justin Anderson will not be cleared for Hawks training camp, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. Dedmon suffered an avulsion fracture in his left ankle earlier this month and shed his walking boot last week. Dedmon, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, will be reevaluated next week, Vivlamore continues.  Anderson had surgery June 29th on his left leg due to recurring tibial stress syndrome. Anderson, who was acquired from the Sixers in a three-team deal in July, will be re-evaluated in two weeks, Vivlamore adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

Heat Officially Re-Sign Dwyane Wade

The Heat have officially re-signed Dwyane Wade to a new contract, the team confirmed today in a press release. Word broke over the weekend that Wade had decided to return to Miami for one more season.

“We are very delighted that Dwyane decided to return,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. “I believe that Dwyane can play a big part in us winning, that’s what he is all about. I’m glad he’s back.”

Wade, 36, has spent nearly all of his 15-year NBA career with the Heat since being selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 draft. While he had brief stints with the Bulls and Cavaliers in recent years, all of Wade’s best seasons have come in Miami, including his 12 All-Star appearances, eight All-NBA nods, and three NBA championships.

Having rejoined the Heat down the stretch last season, Wade showed he was still capable of contributing to the club, averaging 12.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 21 regular season contests. He also looked like his old self in Game 2 of the Heat’s first round series against Philadelphia, leading the club to its only playoff victory with 28 points in 26 minutes.

Wade’s new – and likely final – contract with the Heat will be worth the veteran’s minimum ($2,393,887) for one season. Because the deal will only count for about $1.51MM on Miami’s cap, the tax impact will be reasonably modest, increasing the team’s projected tax bill by just shy of $2.6MM.

With Wade officially back in the fold, the Heat have 14 players on fully guaranteed contracts and may leave the 15th spot on their roster open to start the season to avoid further increasing their tax bill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade was “strongly considering” retirement last week before Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and a few other people were able to convince him to change his mind, according to an Associated Press report.

Wade, 36, held off on announcing a decision all summer before releasing a Twitter video on Sunday in which he revealed his intention to play one more season. There was personal and family business to sort out, Wade explained, as well as negotiations with the team to reach an agreement that was agreeable to both sides. He goes into detail in the video to lay out the lifestyle considerations that influenced his decision.

“Can I physically do it? Can I physically get out of bed every day to do this? Can I deal with every step hurting in the morning? Can I deal with the travel? Can I be away from my family? Is it selfish for me to want to continue to be away from my family?” Wade asked.“These things to you guys may seem small. But to me, they’re real. I feel like my family have put me first for so many years, for good reasons. But there comes a point in time when we’ve all got to think about someone else, especially the ones around you that have supported you, supported your dreams, supported your journey like my family have.”

Wade is the most popular and accomplished player in Heat history, leading the franchise in career points, assists, steals and games played. He spent 13 years in Miami before leaving for Chicago in 2016 because he was unhappy with what the Heat were offering him in free agency. Wade later moved on to Cleveland, then received a hero’s welcome from Heat fans when he was traded back to Miami in February. He became a valuable reserve, averaging 12.0 points per night in 21 games while helping the Heat reach the postseason.

Wade made it clear in his announcement that there won’t be another decision to make next summer. He plans to retire once this season is complete, saying, “I’ve given this game everything that I have, and I’m happy about that, and I’m going to give it for one last season, everything else I have left.”

There’s more Wade-related news to pass along:

  • Wade opted to accept a $2.4MM veteran’s minimum contract rather than demand any of Miami’s $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception. The financial implications of that decision are huge for a team already in luxury tax territory, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. With tax payments figured in, the total cost of re-signing Wade will be about $4MM. If he had demanded the full MLE, the price would have risen to between $14MM and $17MM. Wade will be the team’s 14th guaranteed contract, raising the total salary to about $130MM. That projects to a $9.7MM tax bill that could rise to $11.7MM or fall to $7.3MM depending on bonuses that the league considers likely [1,700 minutes plus making the playoffs for Kelly Olynyk] and unlikely [70 games played for Dion Waiters].
  • Wade’s return will make it harder for any of the Heat’s younger players to earn a roster spot, Nahmad adds (Twitter link). The 14 players with guaranteed contracts are considered virtual locks to make the club, while the 15th spot could be kept open. Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten enter camp on two-way contracts, but they will get competition to keep those deals from Briante Weber, Marcus Lee, Malik Newman and Jarnell Stokes, who all have Exhibit 10 contracts.
  • Wade wants to continue to have a significant role with the Heat in his final season, but he will be facing a different environment than he did at the end of last season, notes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The Heat aren’t sure if Waiters will be physically ready when training camp starts next week, but he will return at some point after having ankle surgery last year. That creates a huge logjam at shooting guard, where Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, Rodney McGruder, Derrick Jones, Wayne Ellington will compete with Wade and Waiters for playing time.
  • Wade’s return could help put the Heat in contention for Jimmy Butler if the Timberwolves opt to trade him, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel, although he downplays the effect their friendship might have with Wade entering his final season. Winderman suggests an offer of Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and an unprotected 2019 first-rounder.

Dwyane Wade To Return For Final Season

7:59pm: The Heat have offered Wade the $2.4MM veteran’s minimum and Wade plans to accept it, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reports.

7:07pm: Veteran guard Dwyane Wade has decided to return for one final season with the Heat. The 36-year-old announced and explained his decision through a video he released on Twitter.

Wade cites a desire to spend more time with his family as one of the driving forces behind the decision.

After starting his career with 13th consecutive seasons in Miami, Wade spent the 2016/17 campaign with his hometown Bulls, followed by a partial season with the Cavaliers and eventually a late season return to the Heat in 2017/18.

Wade averaged 12.0 points in 22.2 minutes per game after returning to the Heat last season and raised those to 16.6 and 25.4, respectively, in Miami’s five 2018 playoff games.

At this point, there’s still no indication what Wade’s final contract with the club will look like although it’s likely to fall within the $2.4MM veteran’s minimum and the $5.3MM taxpayer MLE.

In either scenario, the acquisition will have substantial luxury tax implications.

Heat Notes: Wade, Winslow, Ellington

The Heat should follow the Spurs’ lead in putting together a contract for Dwyane Wade, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. When Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were nearing the end of their careers, San Antonio gave them deals that were guaranteed for two years, even if they played just one more season.

Winderman suggests Miami should go all in on an effort to re-sign Wade, offering its entire $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception as the starting point for a two-year contract. That would give Wade more than $10MM in guaranteed money, which would be tough to turn down and would help compensate him for past years in which he played under his market value.

The downside is the effect the deal would have on the luxury tax. Miami is already about $5MM over the tax threshold without Wade on the roster and faces a similar situation for 2019/20 if Hassan Whiteside [$27MM], Tyler Johnson [$19.2MM] and Goran Dragic [$19.2MM] all opt in to their current contracts. Short of giving Wade all or part of the MLE, the only alternative is a veteran’s minimum deal that would pay him just $2.4MM.

  • If Wade doesn’t continue playing and Dion Waiters isn’t completely healthy when training camp starts, the Heat should contact some of the free agent wings who are still available, Winderman states in a separate column. The ideal situation, he adds, would be someone willing to join the team for camp without a guaranteed contract.
  • The Heat’s collection of large salaries may mean a delay in trying to re-sign Justise Winslow, Winderman states in another column. Winslow is eligible for an extension now, but with seven players already earning more than $10MM per year, Miami may decide to hold off on making an offer and deal with Winslow in free agency next summer.
  • Wayne Ellington didn’t get much interest on the free agent market, but he will serve a valuable role for the Heat once again, writes Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders in a season preview on Miami. Ellington, who re-signed with the team for $6.27MM, averaged 11.2 points per game last year and shot 39.2% from 3-point range.

Dwyane Wade Still Hasn’t Made A Decision On Playing

Dwyane Wade was evasive about his playing future in a public appearance Thursday in Miami to promote a new restaurant, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. He reiterated to reporters that he will definitely remain with the Heat if he continues his career, but he hasn’t made a decision yet.

“I wish I had an answer for you. I don’t have it today,” Wade said. “… A lot goes into it. We’ve kind of talked about it over the course of my career. So you guys can play the tape back and hear the same answers over and over again. But a lot goes into it.”

Wade was a valuable reserve in Miami after the Cavaliers traded him back to his long-time home in February, averaging 12.0 PPG in 21 games. He reportedly wants to feel comfortable with his role on the team before committing to another year, which likely includes an increase in playing time from the 22.2 minutes per game he saw last season.

There’s also the matter of money. The Heat are over the cap, but have a $5.3MM taxpayer mid-level exception still available. If they don’t want to give Wade at least part of that, the best they can offer is the $2.4MM veteran’s minimum.

“You’ve got to call my agent and ask him,” Wade responded when asked what the team is offering. “I haven’t dealt with the money part of it.”

The Heat have been holding a roster spot open for Wade all summer, and they would like an answer soon with training camp opening in a week and a half. However, Wade doesn’t seem to be influenced by any deadlines.

“Whichever day the decision comes, it comes,” he said. “And that’s the right day, whatever date that is.”

Wade Wants To Be Comfortable With Role In Miami

Dwyane Wade isn’t demanding to start, but he does want to feel comfortable with his role on the Heat before committing to play another season, writes Greg Cote of The Miami Herald.

Wade was used exclusively in a reserve role after the Cavaliers traded him to Miami in February. He came off the bench in all 21 regular season games with the Heat, along with four postseason contests.

Wade would like to be used more than the 22.2 minutes of playing time he averaged after returning to Miami, Cote adds. He would be willing to play a mentor’s role, similar to newly re-signed teammate Udonis Haslem, but also wants to contribute on the court.

Miami has been holding a roster spot open for Wade, but had hoped for an earlier decision. Team president Pat Riley originally said he hoped for a final determination by the middle of August, then later said Labor Day was “sort of the drop-dead date for players.”

Cote expects Wade to announce that he’ll play one more year, but not until the team’s Media Day on September 24.

Heat Notes: Draft, Richardson, Wade, Haslem

The NBA appears to be holding off a decision to eliminate the one-and-done rule until the 2022 draft, which would be good news for the Heat, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. That would mean Miami wouldn’t miss out on a potential bonanza in the 2021 class with the top college prospects and high school seniors both available. The Heat are the only team that have traded their 2021 first-rounder, sending it to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic deal. The Suns moved it to the Sixers this summer as part of the package to acquire Mikal Bridges.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN recently reported that teams have been told by league executives that no change in the one-and-done rule will occur prior to 2022. The Heat haven’t appealed to the league to make the change in any particular year, Jackson adds.

Jackson shares more from Miami in the same story:

  • At least one unidentified team offered a first-round pick to Miami in exchange for Josh Richardson during the offseason. The Heat turned it down and have no plans to part with Richardson, who is entering the first season of a four-year, $42MM extension. The team also prefers to hang onto Dragic, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo, James Johnson and Justise Winslow.
  • Dwyane Wade has less than two weeks to make a decision before camp opens, but at least one Heat official believes he wants to play this season. Wade has been on vacation in California, but will return to Miami tomorrow to open a restaurant with Udonis Haslem, who has been part of the recruiting effort to get Wade to return.
  • Haslem said his “love for the organization” and his teammates was behind his decision to return for a 16th season. “If I was looking for playing time, I could have gone someplace else or played in China or something,” he said. “But at the end of the day, would it have made me as happy as being around this organization and being around these guys? No, I don’t think it would.” Haslem saw minimal action last season, averaging about five minutes per night in 14 games.

Southeast Notes: Rivers, Heat, Bamba

When the Wizards exiled big man Marcin Gortat, they did more than simply shed the 34-year-old’s contract, they filled a void that they’ve had for some time, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. The addition of backup combo guard Austin Rivers should alleviate some of the workload on Bradley Beal.

Beal logged the fourth most minutes in the NBA last season but ran out of gas for the Wizards late in the season. Rivers will also slot in behind John Wall at the point, providing capable support at both backcourt positions.

For the addition to work, Rivers will have to change his game slightly. For instance, he’ll have to tone down the volume shooting as part of a larger, competitive Wizards team.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat will bring back their “captain”, 38-year-old Udonis Haslem, for the 2018/19 season. Now, an Associated Press report states, he’ll get to work convincing Dwyane Wade to join him in fending off retirement. “My mindset has always been for us to finish it together,” Haslem said. “I want us to do a whole season together. Experience the road, dinner on the road, go through that whole process. I want us to experience that together.” Wade, of course, played half of last season with the Cavaliers after initially leaving Miami for the Bulls in the summer of 2016.
  • The Magic are expected to open the season with Nikola Vucevic as their starting center, team scribe John Denton writes, but the club will make sure that Mohamed Bamba has plenty of time to demonstrate his potential. According to Denton, the rookie has already “greatly impressed” the squad with the improvement he’s made since the end of the NCAA season.
  • The Heat have a number of options that Erik Spoelstra will need to mix and match in order to fill his frontcourt. Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in a mailbag with readers that he views Kelly Olynyk as a change-of-pace backup center behind Hassan Whiteside and James Johnson as the club’s power forward.