The Heat missed the playoffs for just the second time in Dwyane Wade’s 12 years with the franchise, but that had more to do with the loss of LeBron James and a season-ending medical condition suffered by Chris Bosh than it did his personal performance.
Wade was healthy for much of the season, and his 21.5 points per game average was his best in three years.
While he has the ability to opt out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, he confirmed to reporters at the team’s exit interview session that he won’t be taking it, and will be back in Miami next season.
Wade is due more than $16 million, which is an amount he’s not likely to secure on a per-year basis, even though his next contract will be worth more than that in total. But the more compelling reason for him to wait, of course, is the fact that the salary cap is set to spike after next season, so Wade can get more on a max contract at that point when his current deal expires.
It’s also clear that Wade is happy with the Heat organization; the medical staff there was able to keep him healthy for the most part over the course of the season, and his relationship with Erik Spoelstra has been strong since the coach was installed in 2008.
Miami should improve next season, but there are other free agent decisions yet to be made. Goran Dragic will have plenty of suitors after opting out of the final year of his deal this summer, and Luol Deng will be in the same situation. But assuming Bosh makes it back healthy, he and Wade will be at least two All-Star caliber players who will be the focal point of next year’s Heat roster.