Dwyane Wade may now be a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he plans on donning a Miami Heat Jersey one more time before he retires, whenever that may be.
As he told the Associated Press‘ Tim Reynolds:
“Miami, the door’s always unlocked,” Wade told AP. “One day I want to retire in a Miami Heat jersey. I don’t know how that will happen, but I definitely want to make sure than when I decide to hang it up, that jersey is on. Whether it’s being back there or signing a one-day deal like Paul Pierce, I want to make sure that I go out the way I came in.”
Whether Wade actually wants to play another game with the Heat or just go through the ritual of signing a one-day contract before calling it quits remains to be seen. But, by all accounts, he was seriously pulled back to Miami after reaching a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls.
Heck, if the Heat didn’t already have so many guards, he might even be in South Beach right now. As it stands, though, if he were going to join a non-contender, it wouldn’t be one on which he’d have to compete for minutes with Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters and Rodney McGruder.
And if we’re being honest, Wade doesn’t really jibe with the Heat’s timeline. Yes, they’re trying to win now. And sure, his contract would have cost them jack. But they have a very open-ended window at this point. Johnson’s poison-pill deal is the only immovable one on their books, so they can pivot into a reset if necessary, and they’ll need to continue developing the recently extended Richardson, Johnson and McGruder no matter what. Wade eats into their rotation flexibility. His decision to sign with Cleveland makes sense for everyone involved—including Miami.
Still, we have not heard the last of Wade and the Heat. He’ll be a free agent again next summer, and depending on what happens with the Cavaliers and James’ own free agency, he could be back in Miami once more, not just as a formal retiree, but an actual player.