Udonis Haslem

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Dwyane Wade doesn’t know if he’s playing another season


Watch Dwyane Wade play the last couple of seasons, and the slippage is obvious.

The future Hall of Famer is averaging 10.9 points per game on 50.4 true shooting percentage, with a PER of 14.9 — all career lows. Things have been worse since he came to Miami at the trade deadline. Wade still has flashes, he still is an important influence in the locker room, but at age 36 and with long-bothersome keees, he is just not the same player.

He is a free agent this summer, and if he re-signs anywhere, it will be Miami. They will pay him what they can. The question is, does he want to play another year? Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald asked him just that.

“I don’t know,” Wade said. “I have told everybody around me that I am taking it after this season and go from there. It’s the first year I’ve ever went into the summer with that mind-set. I always went into it as a free agent or opting out of a deal to get another deal. This is the first summer I can say I’m just going into the summer and see how I feel and see the position this organization is in and go from there. I’m not really concerned with it, honestly. I’m cool with whatever I decide to do. It will be my decision…

“As you get older, it’s a different kind of grind to get ready for games, to get your body ready. [And] can you mentally go through another year and give it your all and not be checked out in the middle of that season [Udonis Haslem] always talked about, as you get older, you take it year by year. But this is the first summer that I will go into the summer and say I ain’t got much hair left, but I’m going to let my hair down and look at everything as a whole, my family and basketball.”

Wade has to answer the question that Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett recently did, and great players have had to grapple with for many years: Is he willing to go through the hard work this off-season (and during the season) to get his body ready to play again? It’s never about a love for the game with the greats. It’s ultimately not about the money, they have plenty. It’s not about wanting to be part of the team in the locker room and on the bus. Those are givens. The question is does he want to put in the time in the weight room, on the training table, with the medical staff and training staff to push his body to get it where he needs it to perform? There comes the point when it’s not worth it anymore.

Wade is still playing well enough Miami would bring him back for one more run. The ball will be in his court.

Heat president Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade mended fences at agent’s funeral

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There was a real disconnect between Heat president and Dwyane Wade stemming the guard leaving Miami for the Bulls in 2016.

That has obviously been fixed, with the Heat trading for Wade yesterday.

How did Riley and Wade get over their issues?

The funeral for Wade’s agent Henry Thomas – who also represented Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem – provided an opportunity (and probably perspective).

Wade, via Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:

“The hug that we embraced was real and it was all we needed,” Wade said of the brief encounter with Riley at the funeral. “That’s it. That’s all we both needed. I walked away and I felt better about everything, without even getting into anything.”

This worked out well for everyone involved.

Wade got his big payday – $38,750,000 – from the Bulls and got to play home games in his native Chicago. He also can proceed without wondering what it would have been like to chase a title with LeBron James on the Cavaliers. (Wade now knows, and it apparently wasn’t for him.)

Riley can still implicitly praise Wade by saying he should’ve given Wade a max deal in 2014 without actually being burdened by what would have been a bad contract. And he still gets to bring back Wade in a happy homecoming.

As Haslem put so poetically, via Reynolds:

“Hank’s still doing his job from above,” Haslem said.

Rumor: Miami, Los Angeles among Dwyane Wade’s potential landing spots

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Dwyane Wade is going to be an unrestricted free agent after he agrees to a buyout by the Chicago Bulls. Talks may not have started between the two sides, but it’s only a questions of when and for how much.

Speculation has already turned to where Wade will go as a free agent.

LeBron James and some around the Cavaliers are confident he will join them to chase a ring. Udonis Haslem is among those pushing for Wade to return to Miami to finish his Hall of Fame career. Now, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald throws another city into the mix — Los Angeles.

Though ESPN reported that LeBron James’ camp expects Dwyane Wade to end up with Cleveland if he reaches a buyout with the Bulls, a Wade associate has been telling people that Miami and Los Angeles are also appealing destinations for Wade…

But the person who mentioned Miami and L.A. to me was the same person who first alerted me to my scoop a few years ago that Wade’s negotiations with the Heat were not going well – the first time that information ever surfaced (and a year later, the sides divorced).

Take the Los Angeles idea with a grain of salt, but it’s possible. Also, note that Jackson says Los Angeles, not Lakers or Clippers. Players do love Los Angeles and the big stage it can provide for their brand.

With the Clippers, Wade would move to a good but not great team that will be battling for a playoff spot at the bottom of the conference. That doesn’t seem like a place he would choose.

The Lakers would appear to be a set up for LeBron coming to Los Angeles in a year, something rumored around the league. Wade would fit there and be a championship veteran to help guide the young guns on that team. That said, the Lakers are not going to be a very good team this year — improved, probably very entertaining, showing promise with their young and talented core, but this is still a team with lots of questions, particularly on the defensive end that will learn some lessons the hard way. In a deep West they are not playoff bound. Does Wade want a year of that?

The smart money is still on Miami or Cleveland.

Whenever the buyout happens, Wade will have options. Los Angeles is just another one.

Report: Heat signing Jordan Mickey

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Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks.

He’s keeping the checks coming.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.

I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).

The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.

Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.

Russell Westbrook wins union’s Players Voice MVP

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The players union released its long-anticipated long-overdue awards, and there are some doozies. First of all, I still can’t figure out what Chris Bosh – who was announced as the “host” of the Twitter-released awards – has to do with this. But let’s get to the actual winners.

Here are the major awards, with the traditional award/Players Voice equivalent:

No surprise Westbrook won both MVPs. He deserved them. Still, James Harden could’ve hoped for a split result like in 2015, when Stephen Curry won actual MVP and Harden won the players’ version.

There’s obviously slight differences in the other categories. I think Green had the best defensive season and deservedly won Defensive Player of the Year, but I also think Leonard is the NBA’s best defender and therefore deserved this honor. I would’ve picked Andre Iguodala for Best off the Bench (and Sixth Man of the Year, for what it’s worth), though that’s a minor quibble. But how on earth did Joel Embiid not win Best Rookie? He was the best rookie in years, let alone this season. I picked Brogdon for Rookie of the Year based on his overall contributions in far more playing time, but there should have been no question about the best rookie.

The union also released several awards without a corresponding NBA honor:

  • Comeback Player of the Year: Joel Embiid
  • Hardest to Guard: Russell Westbrook
  • Clutch Performer: Isaiah Thomas
  • Global Impact: LeBron James
  • Player You Secretly Wish Was On Your Team: LeBron James
  • Most Influential Veteran: Vince Carter
  • Best Dressed: Russell Westbrook
  • Best Social Media Follow: Joel Embiid
  • Coach You’d Most Like to Play For: Gregg Popovich
  • Best Home Court Advantage: Warriors

LeBron winning Player You Secretly Wish Was On Your Team has to be an implicit slap in the face to Kyrie Irving. I’m glad to see Thomas and Carter deservedly recognized.

Lastly, the union awarded a Teammate of the Year on each team:

Dirk Nowitzki won the NBA’s Teammate of the Year – which is voted on by current players after a panel of former players selects nominees – then didn’t even win for his own team here? That’s just weird.