Despite an enticing offer by the Zhejiang Golden Bulls in China worth $25 million over three years, Dwyane Wade has announced that if he does decide to play next season, it will be for the Miami Heat.
— The New York Bulletins (@nybulletins) August 12, 2018
“If I’m playing the game of basketball this year, it’ll be in a Miami uniform,” Wade said at the Jr. NBA World Championships. “If I don’t, I’ll be living in Miami and somewhere else probably.”
The Heat have yet to make any moves since free agency began on July 1st, saving a roster spot for perhaps the best player in the franchise’s history.
D-Wade is the Heat’s all-time leader in points (20,473), assists (5,009), steals (1,433), and games played (876), but this doesn’t even begin to describe his hall-of-fame worthy career.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 4, 2018
Wade was named an NBA All-Star twelve consecutive times between 2005 and 2016, earning MVP honors in 2010 when he dropped 28 points and 11 assists to help the East top the West by a score of 141-139. He is also an 8-time All-NBA selection, 3-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team honoree, and a former NBA scoring champion. If that isn’t impressive enough, he also helped the Heat secure three NBA championships during his tenure with the organization.
Dwyane spent the first thirteen seasons of his career with Miami before he signed a deal with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, in 2016 free-agency after a lowball offer by the Heat.
He would spend one and a half seasons away from the organization before eventually being traded back to Miami by the Cavs in exchange for a 2024 protected second-round pick.
However, he couldn’t reach the ceiling he had set for himself in his return to the 305, averaging 12 points, 3.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.9 steals, all of which were his lowest career marks in a Heat uniform.
The question is: Are the Heat interested in this version of Dwyane Wade? According to team President Pat Riley, the answer is yes.
“I want him back as a player,” said Riley. “I want him back as a competitor. I want him back as a guy who wants to have the greatest year he ever had as a player. I read more articles about ‘Dwyane being done, he’s lost a step, he’s not the same player, he might not have the same motivation.’ But I still see a player who can contribute heavily if he really wants to.”
Ultimately, Wade’s decision to return or not hinges on what he feels is best for his family.
My son is a junior in high school right now. Every decision at this point, especially in a professional athlete’s career, at 36 years old, a lot of it surrounds around their families and what is best for their family, said the former All-Star. “So I am really invested into making sure that my sons can have every tool that they need to be able to succeed at this game of basketball and game of life.”
Return or not, Wade will go down as one of the most accomplished players to ever wear black and red.
Featured Image Via Flickr/Mark Runyon