The Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade are dealing with a contract dispute and the main reason is that the team wants to keep money open to chase Kevin Durant as a free agent in 2016 and this comes as the team is looking to sign Goran Dragic, as he return is a priority and on the market teams like the LA Lakers and NY Knicks will likely be interested in signing him.
The news about Wade and the Heat came out last week, with the Miami Harland reporting that the team wants to avoid "limited financial flexibility" moving forward when it comes to his next contract. Wade currently has a player option for next season at $16 million and the Herald reports that Miami is hoping for Wade to opt out and then sign a below market deal with the team to keep the cap open.
The team has a number of priorities in the future, as CBS Sports reports that the team wants to have the cap space to chase Kevin Durant in free agency next summer. The team also has the Dragic deal to take care of this year and Hassan Whiteside will need a new contract in the coming years and he could end up making big money with how he has developed.
Adding a wrinkle to all of this is the fact that Wade feels he has taken less money multiple times for the Heat and now it's time for a return on the backend. Wade reportedly would be a target for numerous teams if he actually hits the market, as Bleacher Report and Pro Basketball Talk report that the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and NY Knicks could be interested.
Wade reportedly is looking for a three year deal and he "would welcome" a contract around $20 million per season. The Heat are likely trying to avoid a contract like Kobe Bryant's deal, as the team does not want to be tied up on the salary cap with Wade at 33 years old already. Wade is likely coming into this knowing this will be his last "big money" contract and after taking less money for the team to sign James and on other occasions, he likely wants to get what he thinks he deserves.
There have been conflicting reports about what the Heat have offered Wade, with some reports saying it was at less than $10 million. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has a new report that a "friend" of Wade's said that Miami offered $36 million over three years. The team did not have any quotes about those numbers and neither did Wade's agent, but that likely makes sense with what Miami is trying to do.
Wade is looking to opt out and that would put the Miami plans in a bit of a tough spot heading into the offseason. Wade reportedly took less money for the team to keep Udonis Haslem and he feels like it is time to get what he feels the market will give him. Wade can opt out and take this thing to its farthest logical point, which would be to hit the market, have teams come after him and see if Miami is willing to lose the franchise star that helped being them multiple championships.