Oh, Miami Heat fans, you thought we were going to at least have an easy-breezy off-season after last year's pain? Think again. It appears Dwyane Wade is thinking longterm with his contract, and is considering the possibility of opting out this year and even possibly testing the open market.
Pretty much every one thought this would be a less complicated offseason for the Heat, including President Pat Riley. When asked at his end-of-season presser in April whether he expected a smoother offseason, he replied "Yes, yeah. No more smiling faces with hidden agendas. OK, so, we'll be going in clean." LeBron James-directed shade aside, it was an indication that Riley didn't expect surprises.
Well, according to Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald, Wade isn't loving his contract situation at the moment:
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The Heat and Dwyane Wade have been discussing potential resolutions of his contract situation and there’s a significant difference in what both parties believe he should be paid for the next three seasons, according to multiple sources.
Though Wade prefers to stay with the Heat, where he has spent his entire 12-year career, he is now open to leaving this summer if the Heat does not raise its offer, according to two sources with direct knowledge. Wade must decide by late June whether to opt out of a contract that would pay him $16.1 million next season.
Last year, Wade signed a two-year contract worth $31 million, with another play option year tacked on worth $16.1 million. Jackson says Wade was interested in possibly exploring the market next summer, but apparently he's not afraid to do it this year either.
Of course, injuries and missed games have plagued the 33-year-old, but Wade wants a three-year deal worth good money. The Heat apparently would rather stick to the current contract, player opt-in included, and then sign him to a less lucrative end-of-career counteract.
Basically, Wade wants the Kobe/Lakers deal. (He has more than once forgone money for the good of the team, though he's probably made it up in endorsements.) The Heat front office want a more realistic "it is what it is" situation.