Dwyane Wade is reportedly on the verge of signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers after he reached a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls, but that does not mean he was completely opposed to returning to the place where his NBA career began.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Wade did not rule out returning to the Miami Heat and had “reconciled his Miami relationships” after he left the team on bad terms last offseason. The 35-year-old is also said to have considered the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. Ultimately, Wade felt joining LeBron James and the Cavs would get him closest to winning another championship.
Wade and James have remained close friends since they played together, so it is no surprise that the two want a reunion. Wade is eligible to sign a one-year, $2.3 million veteran minimum contract with Cleveland. He is expected to make $15.8 million of the $23.8 million the Bulls owed him as part of his buyout with Chicago.
The obvious question regarding Wade and the Heat is whether or not Pat Riley was among those that the star guard supposedly reconciled with. A report from earlier in the week indicated the two still have not spoken directly since Wade left, and Dwyane basically admitted that Riley was the main reason he left Miami in the first place.
The Miami Heat and the team’s owners are donating millions towards Hurricane Irma relief.
The Heat announced the plans for hurricane relief, which includes an immediate $2.5 million donation from the Arison Family Foundation to Direct Relief, UNICEF and United Way of Miami-Dade County. The Arison Family Foundation comes from Heat team owner Micky Arison and his wife, Madeleine.
Carnival Foundation — the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation, of which Arison is the chariman, and the Miami Heat Charitable Fund are pledging to raise a combined $5 million in funding for relief and recovery efforts. The Arison family intends to match up to half the money raised, for $2.5 million. That would put the total donations from the Arison family, Carnival and the Heat at $10 million if all goes well with the fund raising.
Hurricane Irma was a category 5 hurricane that hit the Caribbean islands as well as Florida, causing great devastation. At least 81 deaths have been reported due to Irma as of Thursday.
It seems like only a matter of time before Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls reach an agreement on a contract buyout, and some have wondered if he would entertain the thought of returning to the Miami Heat. One player who is hoping for a reunion with Wade is Udonis Haslem.
Haslem, who has spent 14 years with the Heat and won three championships with Wade in Miami, said he would “love” if Wade decided to finish his career where it started.
“I would love to have him back, everybody knows that,” Haslem said over the weekend, via Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. “Not only is he a great competitor, great teammate I learned a lot from but also a friend of mine, I consider him a brother.
“I just want Dwyane to be happy. This is the last lap for us both. We deserve to finish it the right way. Whatever makes him happy finishing his career. … hopefully it’s in Miami. I would love for it to be Miami. I want him to finish it right and have no regrets.”
Wade’s one season with his hometown Bulls did not work out, and he never really wanted to leave Miami. The 12-time NBA All-Star simply got tired of taking discounts so other players could get paid, and even Pat Riley admitted that he should have handled the situation differently.
It remains to be seen if Wade could bury the hatchet with Riley, but Haslem says he and Dwyane have spoken about teaming up again.
“We talked about finishing our careers together,” he said. “We really want it to be the case. Plans change. So if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t put any strain on our relationship but it’s still a goal of mine. Hopefully we can end it that way.”
If you heard some of the reasons why Wade said he left the Heat, it seems unlikely that he will play for them again. But, as we know, you never say never in professional sports. You’d be surprised how quickly people can make amends.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk
LeBron James triggered some speculation about a possible return to the Miami Heat with some of his social media activity over the weekend, but the team does not have any reason to believe James has given consideration to it.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat are operating under the assumption that LeBron will either re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers next summer or join the Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s the Instagram post that got some people buzzing:
It appears James was simply visiting Miami, and Jackson reports that the Heat have been given “zero indication” a possible reunion is on the table.
Had it not been for Dwyane Wade leaving Miami, the thought of LeBron returning to the Heat and someone like Carmelo Anthony joining him would be more realistic. The most likely scenario is still that he remains in Cleveland, especially with how much stronger the Western Conference has gotten this offseason.
LeBron would likely only go to the Lakers if Lonzo Ball looks like a stud in his rookie season and Paul George is also signing with the team. And even then, his easiest path back to the NBA Finals will be in the Eastern Conference, where he doesn’t have to face the Golden State Warriors.
While some of the things that have gone on in Cleveland this summer make the future look somewhat dark, the Cavs are still the best team in the East. If they can add another piece of two, LeBron should be content sticking around.
Between the NBA Draft and free agency, the first month of the offseason is one of the most exciting times of year for basketball fans. Trades take place pre and post-draft, teams add new players via the draft, and then the wild free agency period begins on July 1.
Many teams have re-shaped their rosters. Some have lost talent, while others have made gains. Some moves have impacted organizations much more than others.
Here’s a look at 10 winners and losers from the NBA offseason so far.
1) Oklahoma City Thunder
Sam Presti strikes again. The Thunder have a rare situation where trading for Paul George, even purely as a rental, makes sense.
In 2017-18, Russell Westbrook will have some actual assistance from a second bonafide star in George, who can at least help Oklahoma City recover some of what they lost when Kevin Durant skipped town. Westbrook being the entire offense was fun, and led to some remarkable stat lines, but it’s not a long-term solution for winning.
What about the future? George will probably leave after the season, but the deal brings two other benefits aside from the obvious. First, Oklahoma City will have some cap flexibility even if he walks. Second, by making a deal like this, Presti and the Thunder have once again demonstrated to Westbrook that they are committed to building a talented group around him — which could help convince him to re-sign for the long haul when his number comes up next summer.
And after trading for George, Presti wasn’t done. He signed Patrick Patterson to a 3-year, $16.4 million deal to help make up for the loss of Taj Gibson. The Thunder are also bringing back defensive stalwart Andre Roberson on a completely reasonable three-year, $30 million contract.
2) Minnesota Timberwolves
The Miami Heat are putting the full court press on Gordon Hayward during their Saturday meeting.
As part of their sales pitch to the free agent, the team had already put up a banner outside of American Airlines Arena depicting Hayward in full uniform.
There has been no deal yet. Miami probably wants Hayward to see and visualize himself playing for the Heat, hence the banner being part of the sales pitch.
It would be a bit awkward if Hayward ends up going elsewhere, but on the bright side, taking down that banner won’t be as painful as this. The wounds will probably heal quickly.
The Miami Heat may have their opportunity to retain guard Dion Waiters.
Waiters told WSVN’s 7 Sports Extra that he would consider giving the Heat a hometown discount, but it has to be “right.”
“It depends,” Waiters said Sunday, via Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. “Yeah, I would, though. But, like I said, it depends, just being the right thing, at the right time. It’s just got to be right. It’s got to be equal.”
Waiters made clear he is looking forward to experiencing free agency.
“It’s excitement at the end of the day, just getting a chance to go through that process and see what the team is talking about and things like that, just the little things, it’s exciting,” Waiters said. “This is an exciting time. You knew how hard you worked.”
Waiters averaged 15.8 points per game with the Heat last season, finding a home after stints in Cleveland and Oklahoma City. Opting out of his contract was a no-brainer as far as the finances go, but he’s made his desire to stay in Miami clear. The two sides will just have to find common ground.
Could the Miami Heat finally be heading towards an amicable solution to Chris Bosh’s status on the roster?
Team president Pat Riley said Wednesday that the team has been in discussions with Bosh, who has not played in over a year due to concerns over blood clots, about finding a solution to his contract.
The fact that the two sides are in contact is a step up, given that they weren’t talking for a good part of the season. Bosh wants to play again and probably realizes that to do so, he’s going to have to find a solution with Miami to get him out of his contract, or at least traded elsewhere.
The Miami Heat can safely waive Chris Bosh at any time now, as his salary will be excluded from their cap number now that there’s no way he could play 25 or more regular season games for another team this season. So what’s the holdup?
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat are in no rush to release Bosh because there are no players currently available that they want badly enough to free up a roster spot. In addition, Miami apparently has not given up hope that some team could decide to trade for Bosh.
More importantly, Miami want to keep alive the not-very-likely possibility of being able to trade Bosh (after the season) to a team that might want to trade something Miami wants or a team that believes he could play or (as was the case before last month’s trade deadline) a team that needed to get to the cap floor. There were preliminary trade inquiries earlier this season.
There has been no indication that a doctor would even clear Bosh to play, as his repeated blood clots caused him to fail his preseason physical with the Heat and he has not appeared in a game since. If Bosh plays in 25 games in any remaining season during the term of his deal with Miami, the Heat would have to pay him his full contract amount. They’re already in the clear for this season, but they still owe him about $52 million over the next two years.
As Jackson notes, any team that trades for Bosh would not be eligible to have his salary removed from their salary cap regardless of what happens with his health, so that makes acquiring the 33-year-old even more risky. At least one team was said to have interest in Bosh earlier this season, but the reality is his condition could keep him from ever playing again.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk
LeBron James was held out for rest, but that didn’t stop the sparks from flying between the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
At the end of the Heat’s 120-92 victory over the Cavs at American Airlines Arena, a game in which both James and Kyrie Irving sat out for maintenance, words were exchanged between the two teams and a scuffle of sorts ensued.
The Cavs appeared to be upset with a garbage time sequence that saw Heat guard Rodney McGruder throw down a putback dunk over Cavs big man Channing Frye before rearing up and smacking him on the back. In particular, injured Cavs guard JR Smith, in street clothes on the bench, had some words for McGruder and needed to be restrained.
The two teams will actually meet again in Cleveland this coming Monday as well as back in Miami on April 10 (not to mention the very real possibility of the Heat landing the eighth seed in the East and facing off against the Cavs in the first round). As such, there will be plenty of opportunity for retribution between the two adversaries over the next several weeks.
Video via NBA Reddit