Will he or won’t he?
The Miami Heat still do not know if star shooting guard Dwyane Wade will play a 16th season for the team next season. The reason? Wade himself continues to say he has not made up his mind.
While speaking to reporters Thursday about the upcoming opening of a Miami restaurant, the 12-time All-Star was asked about his plans for the 2018-19 season with Heat training camp scheduled to begin in less than two weeks. And once again, Wade could not confirm a final decision.
“I wish I had an answer for you. I don’t have it today,” Wade said to reporters, per The Sun-Sentinel.
One thing both he and the team are aware of is that Wade will either retire or play for the Heat next season.
“I always said that when I got traded back to Miami, that was it for me,” Wade said. “I said it in the first interview and I don’t want to pack my bags to go nowhere. My family’s here, my kids are growing, so definitely if I’m not wearing a Miami Heat jersey next year, I’ll be wearing it under one of my sweaters or jackets.”
Wade was reportedly offered a three-year, $25 million contract in July to play for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association, which would have made him the highest-paid player in China. But Wade, 36, says he isn’t considering joining the CBA or any other team other than Miami.
The Heat have 19 players on their training camp roster, leaving one spot open for Wade. His longtime teammate Udonis Haslem, who joined the Heat along with Wade in 2003, re-signed with the team last week for the $2.4 million veteran minimum.
Because Wade left the team as a free agent when he joined the Chicago Bulls before the 2016-17 season, the Heat no longer have his “Larry Bird rights” and are restricted in how much the salary cap-strapped team can pay him. The Heat can offer Wade either a $2.4 million veteran-minimum salary for 2018-19 or the team’s mid-level exception for $5.3 million.
—Field Level Media