As great as it would be to see Dwyane Wade back, it doesn’t make sense for the Miami Heat to re-sign him. Plus, would Wade even want to return at this point in his career?
Dwyane Wade’s open-ended comments about his future with the Chicago Bulls leaves a lot of questions. Namely: Would he welcome a chance to return to the Miami Heat?
“There’s so many different variables that come into play, especially for me at this point in my career. Like I said, I have a great luxury. I don’t need to ring-chase, but I can. It’s a great luxury to have if I want to do,” Wade said. “Or I can be a part of passing down my knowledge to younger players. It’s either way. Whatever I decide, I’m going to embrace whatever role I have on a team.
As cool as Wade being back in Miami might be, it just doesn’t make sense. Let’s go through the reasons why.
1. Wade has a $23.8 million option for next season
And that’s a lot of money. More money than Wade would command on the open market, most likely. As ESPN’s Nick Friedell reported “Many people within the organization privately believe that Wade will decide to pick up the option because it’s highly unlikely he will get a comparable offer for next season.”
The Heat, meanwhile, will have the money to spend on Wade if they wanted to. But after being so reluctant to shell out that much last summer, why would they willingly give him the money this time around? Wade is a year older, the Heat are younger, and seemingly going in a new direction.
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2. Where would he fit in?
Wondering how Wade would fit in in Miami is weird. I mean, it’s Dwyane Wade. Wade County. Still, here we are. Wade left, and the Heat’s backcourt got a makeover. In came Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson developed and Josh Richardson (after finally getting healthy at the end of the season) showed signs of improvement.
The Heat signing Wade would likely mean moving on from Waiters, and revisiting a Wade-Goran Dragic backcourt that didn’t mesh two seasons ago.
3. Miami’s priorities don’t involve Wade
Yes, Pat Riley said he would always leave a key under the mat for Wade, but he didn’t say the key would be tied to $20 million. Riley is too proud to offer Wade a near-max deal and hand him over the franchise for sentimental reasons.
Miami’s top priority is to land a franchise-changing talent–either through free agency or trade–or to re-sign Waiters and James Johnson and run this thing back. Depending on what happens with all that, maybe Riley would be willing to bring Wade back for the right price. Of course…
4. It’s a Dwyane Wade decision
“It is a Dwyane Wade decision,” Wade said. “Jimmy is a huge component in me being here and what’s his future like, but at the end of the day it’s a me decision.”
Ultimately it doesn’t matter if Riley wants Wade back if Wade doesn’t want to come back. Look, the Bulls made the playoffs and Miami didn’t, even if it was just because of a tie breaker. Chicago also has a franchise player in Jimmy Butler, something the Heat lack.
If the Bulls commit to building a contender around Butler and Wade, Wade would most likely take the money and stay for at least one more season.
Then there’s the other, non-Chicago or Miami options. If Wade would be willing to take less money to return to Miami, would he also be willing to take less money to chase a ring with his pal LeBron James in Cleveland?
It’s too early to tell, but the point is: Even if Riley and the Heat wanted him back, it’s ultimately up to Wade how he wants the final years of his career to play out.