Dwyane Wade may hit the free agent market with an opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat this summer, as the sides are in a contract dispute over compensation and if that happens, teams like the Chicago Bulls, NY Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers could be interested in signing the star.
Wade is coming off of a strong season and he is looking to get a new contract worth around $20 million per season. According to the Miami Herald, Wade would "welcome" a three-year deal from the Miami Heat and he is looking to avoid using his $16.5 million player option for next season. Wade has that option heading into the summer and he has to decide what to do by the end of the month and reports have Miami looking for Wade to take a "below market deal" for his next contract. The team is hoping to avoid "limited financial flexibility" in the coming years, as CBS Sports reports the team wants to chase Kevin Durant in 2016.
Wade wants to stay in Miami and the team likely wants to keep Wade, but they also are looking at things from a business perspective. According to Pro Basketball Talk, Wade wants to get compensated what he feels he is worth and he also wants to make up for the numerous times he has taken less money to help the franchise. Wade took less money to help the team get LeBron James and Chris Bosh and he also reportedly took less money to help the team keep Udonis Haslem.
Wade has been the face of the franchise for the majority of his career, but he is not the same player he once was and he is a step slower while dealing with knee issues over the past couple years. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, a source said that Miami offered Wade a deal for three years and $36 million and that would pay him $16 million this year with two more seasons of $10 million. Wade is looking for more than that and he could threaten to leave if he opts out and that could bring the team to the table to meet his demands.
Wade is likely going to opt out and if he does that, teams like the Knicks, Lakers, Cavaliers and Bulls could chase him. The Bulls are likely keeping Jimmy Butler, but they could go after more scoring in someone like Wade after the way they played in the playoffs this year. The Miami Heat have concerns since they have to sign back Goran Dragic and that will likely be on a max deal, while Hassan Whiteside will need to be signed the summer after that.
The Knicks and Lakers are motivated to spend money and could go after Wade, while Michael Wilbon said that the Cavaliers and Bulls also could be fits if he hits the market. Most in NBA circles do not see Wade leaving the Miami Heat, but if the team takes a hard line, wade could leave South Beach. Wade has won titles and has given a lot to the team and if he wants to make the money he feels he is worth, it could be elsewhere.