Dwyane Wade: Latest News, Rumors and Speculation on Star's Future with Heat

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

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Dwyane Wade has spent his entire NBA career as a member of the Miami Heat. It is widely assumed he will stay there until he retires, but there is growing concern as he reportedly will test free agency this summer.

Also complicating matters is a report stating that the star guard and the Los Angeles Lakers have mutual interest.

Continue for updates.   

Wade Not Expected to Draw Much Interest

Tuesday, June 30 

ESPN's Chris Broussard reported there isn't a "robust" market for Wade, due to his age and injury problems.

Despite that, at least one team has shown an interest in Wade: the Los Angeles Lakers. 

"While many execs still see Wade/Heat as contract saber rattling, a Wade option will be the Lakers. Mutual interest, per league sources," Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported on June 21.

Mannix elaborated on the possible fit, tweeting: "Hard to see L.A. offering Wade a better chance to win than Miami, especially in the West. But it is L.A., and they do have money to burn."

Wade Reportedly Will Not Opt In to Heat Contract

Monday, June 29

"Dwyane Wade will not pick up his player option for next year & instead become a free agent," according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, citing a source.

Although, Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Fox Sports 1 "chances are minimal" Wade leaves the Heat, per Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation. 

On Friday, team president Pat Riley said the Heat had "not received any information" on Wade and Luol Deng's opt-out deadline," according to Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick. (Deng later decided to opt in to his player option Monday.) Riley also said, per Skolnick, that the Heat want Wade back, and that he'd like to keep the team together that Miami built last season.

Despite the pressure of the upcoming deadline, Riley added that he believes in giving players space and time to explore free agency.

"The sides have not formally spoken in some time," Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported on June 22. "They had discussed a new contract for around $10 million per year for up to three years beyond his current deal, sources said."

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel later reported Wade and the Heat would likely meet after free agency began on July 1. ESPN.com's Michael Wallace reported on May 28 he was hearing Wade wants a contract in the neighborhood of three years, $50 million.

Wade, Agent Comment on Future with Heat

Sunday, June 7

As a guest analyst on ABC's pregame coverage of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Wade was asked about opting out of his contract. "I'll worry about that in July," he replied, per Winderman.

"A Wade associate has told people that Wade would welcome a contract averaging $20 million annually over the next three years," Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on June 3.

"We've heard the Heat would prefer Wade opt in for $16 million next season, then take a very significant pay cut over the following two years. But it's important to note that those numbers were not confirmed by the Heat, which obviously isn't saying what it will offer when formal offers can be made July 1," Jackson added.

Winderman added a statement from Wade's agent: "He's had a tremendous career [with the Heat] and we're just trying to see whether or not there's room to continue that."

Skolnick added his take on the situation back on May 28:

Some Heat officials had held out hope Wade would take the Dirk, Duncan approach late in career: below-market, 1-year deals. That was never a given. Wade made it clear when he opted out (costing himself $6M in '14-15), he had TV windfall in mind. If Dragic signs to #'s expected, Wade wd be 3rd-highest paid on team in 15-16. If Whiteside develops, cd be 4th/5th in 16-17. This is a rare situation where neither side really has the leverage. Management & the player r both incredibly popular. Finally, if Wade went anywhere, at any point, I've typically heard L.A. as an option. But I still expect Heat to sort this out.

Wade previously commented on his status moving forward on April 21, per Reynolds (via RealGM): "I signed my deal the way I did for a reason ... and the organization did it for a reason. It's my option. I'll decide when the time is right. Everyone knows I always try to do what's best for the organization, but I also have to do what's best for Dwyane Wade as well."

Wade Likely to Leave Miami

Sunday, June 21

After losing LeBron James last offseason to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the thought of Wade entertaining offers from other teams is a nightmare scenario for Miami. 

It is important to note that Wade has spent his entire professional career as a member of the Miami Heat. After all, he has three championships and 11 All-Star appearances from his time with the Heat, and it certainly appeared like he would stay in Miami his whole career after signing a new deal last offseason:

DWade @DwyaneWade

Home Is Where The Heart Is... My Home,My City,My House..#HeatLifer http://t.co/lMmP2JTDQY

Wade played in 62 games in 2014-15 and averaged 21.5 points a night. The Heat had playoff aspirations even without James, but injuries to Wade, Chris Bosh and others ultimately cost them a spot in the postseason.

If Wade and impending free agent Goran Dragic do return alongside a healthy Bosh and Hassan Whiteside (as well as 10th overall pick Justise Winslow), it is not difficult to envision the Heat competing in a watered-down Eastern Conference. That could play into Wade’s decision-making as well.

Still, Matt Moore of CBSSports.com described a nightmare scenario for the Heat in light of the latest update:

Even if this is mostly designed to put pressure on Miami to come through with what Wade wants, it does set up extremely interesting scenarios, and it has to do with a hard reality for Miami: They can't afford to let Wade go.

Wade opting out and departing would be a disaster in terms of PR because of Wade's popularity; throughout LeBron James' run, Wade remained the most popular player on the team, he is Miami Heat basketball. It would also be a huge problem for their hopes of contention. Goran Dragic will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and his return is far from certain with offers from other teams available despite his appreciation for the Heat. If Wade left, Dragic would be quick to follow, and then you're looking at an old, injured mess for Miami with only Chris Bosh coming off blood clots to build around.

Miami could advance deep into the playoffs next season or completely fall off the rails and end up in the draft lottery again. It's safe to say there is plenty riding on the Wade decision.