Why Dwyane Wade Will Return to the Miami Heat

Wade Heat

We talked about this in February, but there’s a reasonable chance Pat Riley doesn’t want Dwyane Wade anymore.

Shooting guards who can’t shoot aren’t black sheep in the modern NBA. If Riley wants to chase a superstar he can’t afford to do so while retaining both Wade and Hassan Whiteside, and 26-year-old centers are more valuable than 34-year-old guards. It might just be time to start building around different players. Wade isn’t going to be good for very much longer.

Miami probably isn’t going to get a superstar. If Chris Bosh’s health were more certain they might, but as it stands right now their roster isn’t desirable enough. The difference between Wade and Whiteside is that Whiteside is far more desirable on the open market. The Heat can’t waste any time on him, and in fact probably will lose him while they’re fawning over Kevin Durant.

But Wade? Nobody’s giving Wade a multi-year deal. It just doesn’t make sense. Guards don’t maintain star status into their mid-30’s. He’s going to fall off sooner rather than later, and at this point in his career he’d only play for the sort of contender that doesn’t just have $20 million lying around to give to a one-year player.

Where would he even go? Chicago? The basketball fit makes no sense. Dallas isn’t good enough. A fit doesn’t exist.

And when Miami strikes out on Durant and realizes they aren’t winning the championship next season, their best bet is going to be playing for PR. So they’ll give Wade his one-year lump sum and go through the same dance again next year. But one of these seasons, they’re going to need to use their cap space on actual long-term basketball matters rather than public relations. Eventually, Wade is going to be forced out, and it’s going to be ugly.

On the off chance it happens this summer, Dallas and Chicago are the two teams that possibly come to mind. But in all likelihood, Wade’s headed for one last 59-game Miami rodeo.

Likely Contract: One Year, $17 Million

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