With Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors and leaving the marketplace in NBA free agency, there aren’t a lot of big names left. One who remains, though, is Dwyane Wade.
A lifelong Miami Heat guard, many expected him to re-sign in South Beach, especially after Pat Riley and Co. got a lot of extra spare money to throw at him when Durant signed with the Warriors. But now, after perhaps feeling slighted and lowballed over the years and years of pay cuts for the greater good, Wade seems to be signaling his exodus from Miami in a way he never has.
As reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Wade is apparently demanding a two-year $50 million deal from the Heat, who at the moment are only able to offer him $20 million per season. There are hurt feelings here, as Windhorst intimates, with Wade holding something of a grudge after feeling like a lesser priority than Durant and Hassan Whiteside – the latter of whom is the genesis of this problem in the first place because Miami forfeited Wade’s Bird Rights to create enough space to sign him.
Meanwhile the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, and Milwaukee Bucks have all been vying for the chance to ink Wade, while he’s been the subject of many Cleveland Cavaliers rumors. Wade could only sign with his buddy LeBron James and the Cavs on a small deal, as they lack salary cap flexibility and can only offer him the tax payer’s mid-level exception for $3.4 million per season. The chance to fight Durant and the Warriors in the Finals, though, might be worth more than that to Wade.