Miami Heat Free Agent Rumors: Goran Dragic Likely Returning, Dwyane Wade Option For NY Knicks, Lakers With Opt Out?

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Jun 09, 2015 10:59 AM EDT
Goran Dragic #7 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat look on against the Cleveland Cavaliers
Goran Dragic #7 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat look on against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the American Airlines Arena on March 16, 2015 in Miami, Florida."

The Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade are at odds over a contract and moving forward the star could look at opting out and hitting the free agent market and if that happens, teams like the LA Lakers, NY Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets could be targets for him and this comes as Goran Dragic is expected to return to South Beach on a max contract.

The situation with Wade has been developing for a couple weeks and the Miami Herald reports that the two sides are not close on agreeing how to move forward. According to Pro Basketball Talk, the Heat have offered Wade a deal at less than $10 million per season moving forward, while he is looking for $20 million per year on at least a three year deal. Wade has a player option coming up for $16.5 million and the team has been "hoping" that he would opt out to take a "below market deal," according to Dan Le Batard at ESPN.

CBS Sports and other outlets reported that the team is worried about having "limited financial flexibility" moving forward, as they are looking to target Kevin Durant as a free agent in 2016. The team has commitments to players they need to make along with Wade and with Chris Bosh already under contract, Miami wants to keep things open enough to chase Durant next summer. Wade is likely signing his last "big money" deal as a player and adding some complications to the negotiations is the fact that Wade has taken less money on multiple occasions to help the team with the salary cap.

Miami needs to sign Goran Dragic to a deal this offseason, as he is set to be a free agent and on top of chasing Durant, the team wants to keep Hassan Whiteside long term. Whiteside will be a free agent soon and with how he has performed he will be getting a considerable raise. Wade is getting older and putting that much money into him like the Lakers did with Kobe Bryant could keep Miami from making other moves.

The team traded first round picks to get Dragic and he is expected to stay in Miami when he hits the free agent market this summer. Dragic has an option that he is certain to decline and the point guard said that he wants to stay with the Heat and the fact that they can offer an extra year is "important." Dragic is in line to get a max contract and that is part of the reason Miami is looking for Wade to take less money moving forward.

Wade is coming in looking to be taken care of on the back end and that is where the main issue lies for the two sides. Wade took less money to help the teams sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh and he also took less money on another occasion to help Miami keep Udonis Haslem. Wade opted out of one of his deals and signed for less money to help the team last year and now he is looking to get some of that on the back end. Whether that is fair or not is another discussion, but either way, Wade has until near the end of June to opt in or out of his player option.

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