Just when you thought losing LeBron last summer was enough, now multiple rumours have surfaced pointing to Wade realistically leaving the Miami Heat in free agency. I was initially sceptical about all reports surrounding the star shooting guard when they started pouring in about a month ago, but since then he's referred to Miami in the past tense, Gabrielle Union has been cryptic in a Reddit AMA, his Dad is going around wearing a Cleveland shirt, and now SI's Chris Mannix has reported mutual interest between him and the Lakers. So now all of South Florida is likely freaking out.
While many execs still see Wade/Heat as contract saber rattling, a Wade option will be the Lakers. Mutual interest, per league sources.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 21, 2015
In case you haven't heard the situation with Wade and Miami it's this. Wade doesn't want to opt in to the contract Miami structured that would pay him $16 million dollars next year. Wade, instead wants a long term deal that would pay him $20 million a season. This of course puts Miami in tough place as they try and make free agent splash in 2016. With that being the case they've reportedly lowballed him and that's likely why we're in this situation.
Los Angeles is in a decent situation, they have a lot of cap space, the second pick in the NBA Draft, and can offer a chance to play with one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Still is that enough to sway Wade? If Wade stays with the Heat he'll likely be playing with Dragic, Whiteside and Bosh next season and that's more than enough firepower to blast through the Eastern Conference. Miami's front office knows what they're doing, but they need to take into account the sacrifices Wade made during the LeBron era if they want him back.
It's still early, so I would take every rumour with a grain of salt, but still with the way last summer went with LeBron, Heat faithful should be at least a little bit worried. Even when it comes to a #HeatLifer.