NBA training camp is 40 days away and this evening I’m told from a reliable NBA source that Dwyane Wade will re-sign with the Miami Heat.
The same league source that it should be coming very very soon especially since Wade’s good friend Udonis Haslem reportedly agreed to return to the Miami Heat for his 16th NBA season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Sources: Udonis Haslem reached agreement on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal to return to the Miami Heat for his 16th NBA season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 6, 2018
“He and Udonis are really really close,” my source told me by phone this evening.
“The banana boat crew is definitely here to stay.”
Wade’s return to the Miami Heat last season was a full circle moment after the future Hall of Famer left M-I-A in 2016 after the Miami Heat refused to pay him what he thought he was worth.
Ironically, Dirk Nowitzki, also a free agent two summers ago was offered a two-year $50 million deal to stay with the Dallas Mavericks and was more than he asked for in free agency.
“I basically told him, look, you tell me the price and it actually started lower,” Mark Cuban told me back in the summer of 2016.
“His agent said ‘how about this much’ and we said ‘we’ll have a little more money, we’ll give you more’ and as the numbers started getting bigger and bigger, it was like ‘what about this number?’ ‘We’ll give you more.’ Finally, it was like ‘this is what we got left, take it!’”
Wade didn’t have that luxury and he bolted to his hometown Chicago, playing for the Bulls and made they made the playoffs. The next year, Wade joined his best friend, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The prodigal did come home before the NBA’s trading deadline last season.
It was nostalgic for Wade, the Heat’s fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft out of Marquette and got the world’s attention in game one of the Heat’s first round playoff series against the New Orleans Hornets in 2004.
With 1.3 seconds remaining and tied at 79 apiece, Wade hit Hornets point guard Baron Davis with an ankle breaker crossover and drove to the basket making a running jumper amid the outstretched arm of Hornets center Jamaal Magloire.
The basket gave the Heat a 81-79 victory and Miami would end up winning the series in seven games.
“I knew he was a special player even back then,” retired NBA player and Wade’s former Heat teaammate, Rafer Alston told me.
“Even though he was young and still developing even back then, he had that ‘it’ factor.”
Wade won all three of the Miami Heat’s championships which includes the Shaq/Wade-era and the Big 3, Wade/Chris Bosh/LeBron James-era.
His return would be a farewell tour similar to Kobe Bryant’s in 2016.
“He is going to run out the rest of his career with his buddies,” a retired league veteran told me this evening and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“Miami wouldn’t bring Udonis Haslem to that team if they didn’t know that D-Wade was coming back.”
So is Wade returning? Who better to ask then the man himself?
At the grand opening of his 800 Degrees restaurant in NYC this evening, (Haslem was also in attendance) Wade was asked whether he’d return to the Miami Heat.
Will Dwyane Wade retire or play 4 Miami Heat this season?? Wade was asked that this evening during the grand opening of his 800 Degrees restaurant in NYC. When asked about it by Scoop B Radio, Wade looked & walked away. #MiamiHeat #DwyaneWade pic.twitter.com/Wvi4A6Gwfv
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) September 6, 2018
Wade looked and walked away.
With 40 days left in the NBA offseason, what will Wade do? Retire? Re-sign with the Miami Heat? Or sign with another team.
While no acknowledgment was made this evening, Wade has to make one soon. Questions about his health and longevity in the NBA have always been ‘a thing’ because of his reckless abandonment and herky-jerky play on the court. But he finds a way to stay in the game.