Things seem to be moving really fast with Dwyane Wade during free agency. When he opted out of his deal with the Miami Heat, that kind of seemed like a formality, as Wade was probably just going to sign another one-and-one contract that allows him to become a free agent at his leisure like he did last summer.
But something weird happened: Wade decided that, even though the Heat managed to bring back Hassan Whiteside on a huge deal, he was going to spend some time looking around and engaging in contract talks with other teams. Most notably, Wade is reportedly talking to the New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks, which would be a huge move even if Wade is getting up there in age.
If you’re surprised by this, don’t worry, so is just about everyone else. But according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, there’s a good reason behind Wade’s curiosity. As it turns out, the former Finals MVP got lowballed when the Heat offered their initial offer. How badly? How does $10 million a year sound?
The Heat’s initial offer of $10 million annually – which would’ve constituted a 50 percent pay cut from his $20 million 2015-16 salary – deeply angered Wade, league sources told The Vertical. Even with the Heat planning to counter to a higher figure, league sources said, Wade has been insistent on starting to explore the market and meet with teams once he returns from an overseas vacation, league sources said.
While it’s fine to expect that Wade will negotiate with the team, offering half of his most recent contract is shocking. It’s especially crazy when you consider that some of the teams pursuing Wade – including the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, and the Bucks – are offering him deals around $20 million a year.