The Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade are dealing with a contract issue and if Wade opts out of his deal and becomes a free agent, he could be a target for teams like the NY Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers on the market, as Miami may want to chase Kevin Durant in the future and does not want to overpay the guard.
Wade has a player option for next season and reports have Wade and the team at odds over how to proceed with salary and a new deal. According to the Miami Herald, the team offered Wade "less than $10 million" per season and he is looking for a deal around $20 million, potentially for three years. Bleacher Report writes that if he opts put over taking his $16 million payer option, the Los Angeles Lakers could be a target to sign him. Michael Wilbon at ESPN said on PTI that the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers also "make sense" as options for Wade if he leaves Miami. The Knicks also have a ton of money to spend and could chase Wade.
The team is reportedly worried about having "limited financial flexibility" if they give Wade an above market deal and they are hoping that he will take a below market deal moving forward. Adding some complications to things is the fact that Wade has taken less money from Miami multiple times while helping the team make moves. While some in the media and fans could call Wade's stance selfish due to his age and other factors, Wade has an argument based on what he has done for the team in the past.
Wade took less money to help the Heat sign both Chris Bosh and LeBron James and he also basically gave up his "alpha dog" status with the team for James. That was not the only time that Wade took less money, as he reportedly came in at a lower number so Miami could keep Udonis Haslem. It's very understandable that Miami does not want to get hamstrung by a big contract for Wade, but at the same time he has made some significant concessions in the past and is expecting a bit of a reward at the end of his career.
Wade is likely signing his last "big money" contract now and if Miami holds their line and digs in, there is a chance that he could bolt as a free agent. Wade could use that as leverage and with his strong standing in Miami among the fans and the community, the team could look like the villains in this situation. Pat Riley is all business and while he surely loves Wade and what he has done for the team, he is always thinking about basketball and how to make the team better.
The Lakers signed Kobe Bryant in a move similar to what Wade is looking at, as they gave him over $45 million over two years, even though he obviously is not the player he once was. Miami has made big moves by getting James and Shaq in the past and that is why Riley wants to hold out hope fort Kevin Durant. The team could be looking very good at that time with Goran Dragic likely coming back and Hassan Whiteside and that could be enough to convince Durant to sign.