Things seem to be moving really fast with Dwyane Wade during free agency. When he opted out of his deal with the Miami Heat, that kind of seemed like a formality, as Wade was probably just going to sign another one-and-one contract that allows him to become a free agent at his leisure like he did last summer.
But something weird happened: Wade decided that, even though the Heat managed to bring back Hassan Whiteside on a huge deal, he was going to spend some time looking around and engaging in contract talks with other teams. Most notably, Wade is reportedly talking to the New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks, which would be a huge move even if Wade is getting up there in age.
If you’re surprised by this, don’t worry, so is just about everyone else. But according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, there’s a good reason behind Wade’s curiosity. As it turns out, the former Finals MVP got lowballed when the Heat offered their initial offer. How badly? How does $10 million a year sound?
The Heat’s initial offer of $10 million annually – which would’ve constituted a 50 percent pay cut from his $20 million 2015-16 salary – deeply angered Wade, league sources told The Vertical. Even with the Heat planning to counter to a higher figure, league sources said, Wade has been insistent on starting to explore the market and meet with teams once he returns from an overseas vacation, league sources said.
While it’s fine to expect that Wade will negotiate with the team, offering half of his most recent contract is shocking. It’s especially crazy when you consider that some of the teams pursuing Wade – including the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, and the Bucks – are offering him deals around $20 million a year.
And while $10 million dollars is a ton of money, as we’ve seen this year, that’s nothing during this summer. Evan Turner got a four-year, $70 million deal with Portland. In other Evan news, Evan Fournier is staying in Orlando on a five-year, $85 million deal. On an annual basis, Miami’s offer to Wade is closer to the one the Lakers gave Jordan Clarkson — four-years, $50 million — than either of those.
You can very easily write those off as just teams trying to figure out how to manage all of the cap space they have, and that’s perfectly fair. But it wouldn’t be a shock to learn that a guy like Wade, someone who has brought multiple championships to Miami, would like to earn more money than the Blazers or Magic gave Turner or Fournier. If the team isn’t willing to do that, maybe we’ll see Wade suit up for another team for the first time in his NBA career.