While there’s been a ton of speculation surrounding the Miami Heat before and after LeBron James‘ departure, there was very little doubt about what the future held for Dwyane Wade. Most had him pegged as a member of the Heat for life, and with a new deal in place, it looks like Flash will indeed finish his career in South Beach.
— THREE (@DwyaneWade) July 15, 2014
The move to keep Wade in Miami long-term isn’t surprising in the least, nor is the fact that he once again took less money to make the team better. His new deal is expected to start at around $15 million per season and will be 3-4 years in length. Because he opted out of his previous deal, Wade will basically be taking around a $5 million pay cut per year.
This new contract speaks volumes about Wade’s love for Miami, as well as his willingness to put the team first. It’s not like he’s going to starve making ‘just’ $15 million per. All the pay reduction has done is put the Heat in better position to contend this season and beyond. Sure, the loss of LBJ cannot be understated, but Miami is actually in pretty good shape in the weak Eastern Conference.
So while there’s no question about Wade’s desire to continuing playing in Miami, there is major concern about his ability to maintain his status as a top-tier NBA player. He’s been limited by knee injuries over the past several seasons, and by the the end of the 2014 Finals, he didn’t even resemble the player he once was.
But without James, the time is now for Wade to once again become the go-to guy in South Beach. You know he wants to be the man, but it’s really a matter of whether his body is up to the task.