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Miami Heat president Pat Riley expects Dwyane Wade to make a decision on whether to return next season by mid-August.
The Heat have reached out to Wade multiple times in the hopes of getting a better understanding of what type of contract the future Hall-of-Famer would want to return next season.
Wade recently returned from a promotional trip in China. He told the Associated Press before leaving that he would focus on his decision when he came back.
“I do hope by the middle of August, we will probably have a decision on Dwyane,” Riley told Heat reporters. “There has been communication with Dwyane and with his agent. It’s best that we give him some more time. He had a long trip in China that was a wonderful trip for him. I want Dwyane back as a player, a guy who wants to have the greatest year he’s ever had as a player. If he plays, he’s going to want to do it. We don’t want him back as a placemat holder or someone who’s going to be a veteran in the locker room. Dwyane is a great player, a great talent. He can make a big difference for us.”
The Heat currently have 11 players under contract. The franchise surpassed the luxury tax threshold by more than $3 million to re-sign guard Wayne Ellington.
Miami’s projected tax payment is at $4.9 million, but if Wade agrees to return for the Heat’s $5.3 million exception, the tax would balloon well over $10 million.
Wade had an eventful year this past season. He started off playing with his pal LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it wasn’t the right fit for the Chicago native, as Wade’s heart and mind were still in South Beach.
So, the Cavs did Wade — and themselves — a favor by trading the guard to the Heat at the trade deadline. Wade was much more comfortable and productive in Miami, averaging 12.0 points in the 21 games in which he appeared.
Wade turned back the clock a few times during the Heat’s first-round playoff loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. He scored 28 points in the Game 2 win and 25 in the Game 4 loss.