The grumblings continue throughout NBA free agency that there’s a good chance that Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade may decide to take his talents elsewhere. Meanwhile, Pat Riley remains adamant that the organization wants Wade to return.
“We want Dwyane back. There’s no doubt about that,” Riley said late Thursday night after the Heat completed their draft selections. “He’s been here 12 years. We’ve had cordial discussions with him. The one thing I learned about free agency is that when a player has an opportunity to be a free agent, I think you give him the space and time to think about that.”
Wade has until Monday to decide whether he will opt-in and collect the $16.1 million salary that is coming his way, or he can opt-out and explore other options. Wade feels he’s worth more than the $16.1 million, but the Heat and his side have not been able to come to terms on what is the right number.
Wade has notably given up millions of dollars over the years to allow the organization to keep signing players such as LeBron James and Chris Bosh. It appears that he may be tired of being the sacrificial lamb. Riley seems to understand and respect this.
“Everybody in this organization over the years has had to sacrifice,” Riley said. “The one player [as much as anyone] that’s had to sacrifice for the sake of winning has been him. This is now getting down to business. We respect him. We want him back. We want him here for the rest of his career. And we’re going to try to do everything to make that happen.”
Wade is reportedly asking for a 3 year/$45 million deal, while the Heat is hoping for more flexibility in order to keep signing top free agents, especially after the 20165-16 season when Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis will be in the mix. Though Riley says he’s unconcerned, anything can happen in free agency. We’ll soon see the end result.