It should come as no surprise, but Dallas is just not—nor will it ever be—a city in which superstar NBA free agents want to play. It’s normally the former stars with a bitter taste in their mouths who sign with the Mavericks..
Enter Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. It was just four years ago that you could have made a legitimate argument for Wade being better than LeBron James, as James’ defense wasn’t as good as it’s become and the numbers between the two stars were comparable. Wade, of course, went on to become James’ sidekick, but now there are serious doubts about whether or not the oft-injured Wade is worthy of even riding James’ coattails anymore.
When the dust settles, it’s hard to imagine the Heat signing Wade to a multi-year deal worth $15-plus million per season. And what other team is going to throw that kind of money at Wade? Zero teams, unless the team is crazy.
Wade, 32 years old, does have serious health concerns, but don’t Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and head coach Rick Carlisle love to brag about the amazing work team trainer Casey Smith has done? Didn’t Smith revive the career of Tyson Chandler, whom the Mavericks just reacquired?
And the Mavericks can’t point out the bad blood that still exists between Wade and star Dirk Nowitzki. If that’s an issue, then why was the recent meeting with Anthony “just about business”? Wade is doubted and his greatness is under-appreciated and forgotten. He has something to prove, just like Chandler years ago and many of the players GM Donnie Nelson has acquired in the past.
Overall, Luol Deng, for instance, never was, nor is he now, better than Wade. Should the Mavericks sign Wade, Monta Ellis can run the point, Wade can start at shooting guard and Devin Harris can remain the backup at point guard. And who’s to say Wade doesn’t take the same pay cut Nowitzki took in order to play alongside his former rival?