Heat summit expected between Riley, Wade
MIAMI — At a time when Dwyane Wade previously had made the media rounds, there instead will be greater upcoming priorities for the Miami Heat guard.
In the wake of Wade’s representative saying Wade will bypass his annual media sessions at the adult basketball camp he is hosting this week at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood comes an ESPN report that Wade will meet within the week to discuss his contract impasse with Heat President Pat Riley.
Wade has a $16.1 million option on his contract that must be decided next week, with the All-Star guard otherwise to become a free agent on July 1.
Among the Heat’s options are extending a one-year maximum contract of $23.5 million to Wade for next season. Such a move would trigger a significant luxury tax for owner Micky Arison.
As the Sun Sentinel previously reported, such a tax hit could be mitigated with trades of point guard Mario Chalmers and/or center Chris Andersen. ESPN is reporting the Heat are making trade overtures regarding both.
The Heat also face impending option decisions for 2015-16 from guard Goran Dragic and forward Luol Deng.
The Heat have remained mum on their personnel issues to the point of bypassing their annual pre-draft media session, with no one from the team’s scouting department scheduled to be made available in advance of Thursday’s NBA draft, with the Heat holding the No. 10 selection.
If Wade, 33, either bypasses his opt-out or accepts a one-year deal this offseason, he then would be able to sign a three-year contract with the Heat in the 2016 offseason without the Heat incurring an additional salary-cap hit from the NBA’s “over-36” contract rule. Players are eligible to sign three-year contracts at any age without then having future money accounted back into the salary cap in earlier seasons.
Agent Henry Thomas told the Sun Sentinel three weeks ago that he expected upcoming contract discussions with the Heat in advance of Wade’s option deadline.
“We’ll just have to see how things continue to develop with the Heat,” he said.
Heat center Chris Bosh, another Thomas client, last year signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Heat in the wake of LeBron James’ free-agent departure to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wade at the time agreed to a shorter deal, affording the Heat greater flexibility on the 2014 free-agent market.
That had Thomas noting during these Wade talks, “Several guys opted out of their contract last year. Obviously Dwyane wasn’t in a position that Chris was in, in terms of having another team offer a maximum deal. But the reality of this is he’s played his entire career for Miami. He’s done wonderful things in terms of the five titles that they played for, winning three of them. He’s had a tremendous career, and we’re just trying to see whether or not there’s room to continue that.”
Wade has been linked to potential interest from the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks, with outside teams prohibited from contact until July 1.