Miami Heat Should Bring Dwyane Wade Home Next Season
Photo by George Martinez

Miami Heat Should Bring Dwyane Wade Home Next Season

Remember The Sandlot 2? Of course you don't. You never saw it. Some of you are just now learning the straight-to-DVD sequel to the classic original movie The Sandlot even exists. The people who made it probably regret it. Fans of the original would like to forget it. It would have been better for everyone involved if it never happened. Luckily, we can always go back and watch the original and never speak of the sequel.

Dwyane Wade is playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers' version of The Sandlot 2: a totally forgettable season that Wade and the Cavs will one day wish never happened and will likely be remembered only if ends up being the final season LeBron James ever plays for his hometown team.

Through a 50-game sample size this season, the Cavs have been a mess: They're the worst defensive team in the NBA, Isaiah Thomas has been a terrible replacement for Kyrie Irving, everyone hated Kevin Love even before he broke his hand, Tristan Thompson is a shell of his former self since joining the Kardashian world, and the rest of the Cavaliers roster seems to be largely just going through the motions on any given night.

Wade must be wondering what he got himself into. Two summers ago, he let some hard feelings and a few extra dollars stand between him finishing his career in a Miami Heat uniform. He didn't have to leave. The Heat offered him north of $20 million a season to stay. But he thought he deserved more. So he signed with Chicago and then Cleveland.

Basically, Wade left Miami, where he was the star of the show, to be an extra in a terrible sequel no one will ever watch. It feels a lot like watching a member of Saturday Night Live leave to pursue a movie career, only to find themselves stuck in Adam Sandler Netflix productions.

Wade hasn't been shy when talking about returning to the Heat — one day. He's repeatedly said he would love to finish his career in a Heat uniform. Before Miami took on the Cavs Wednesday night, he reiterated his desire to possibly one day play for the Heat again, via the Miami Herald:

"I have thought about it of course,” said Wade, who spent the first 13 years of his career with the Heat before playing last season in Chicago and this season in Cleveland. “I wouldn’t lie and say I haven’t. When that opportunity comes, that day comes, hopefully, I can go out in a Miami Heat jersey. I don’t know how it will be but I would love it.”

Well, if Wade wants to come home this offseason, he should. The Heat should welcome him with open arms. Miami fans should move their No. 3 jerseys from the back of their closets to the front. Wade should move his family back to Miami and pretend the last two seasons never happened — because that would be the Miami Heat thing to do.

Once a part of the family, always a part of the family. Look at the walls in the locker room. Check YouTube. Dwyane Wade is part of the Miami Heat, and he should've never left. He'll regret it one day. He should already regret it. But he can fix it this offseason — if pride, ego, and money don't get in the way again.

Just as when Alonzo Mourning was welcomed back after a few years of title-chasing following his well-documented health scares, Wade should be allowed to return to finish his career where it began. Like Mourning, though, Wade should be prepared to be used as needed and not as a marquee star. He might be needed for a crucial six-minute stretch in a game when players ahead of him are in foul trouble or as a starter for a month while someone recovers from a high-ankle sprain.

Wade is the Heat. Everyone could tell that both he and the team immediately regretted his signing with the Chicago Bulls. South Florida mourned as if he had passed away. It was odd. And it should be fixed.

For all Wade has done for the franchise, he deserves to return to Miami, but on the Heat's terms. If he agrees to those terms, it's only right that a reunion take place next season while Wade still has some playing days left in him.

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