Report: Heat offered Dwyane Wade under $10 million per season

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Last summer, Dwyane Wade terminated a contract that would have paid $20,164,000 this season and $21,655,000 next season.

He signed a new deal that pays $15 million this season and $16,125,000 next season.

Both contracts included player options for next season, and Wade initially said he wouldn’t opt out. That likely pleased the Heat, who’d prefer to maximize their cap room in 2016 – when the salary cap skyrockets, Hassan Whiteside hits unrestricted free agency and other premier free agents (ahem, Kevin Durant) explore the market.

But Wade is considering opting out, presumably to recoup some of the money he gave up last summer.

So, he and Miami are discussing a new contract. It’s apparently not going well.

No wonder why.

Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

Wade’s value is difficult to discern.

He’s 33 and has missed 20, 28, 13 and 17 games the last four years. But when on the court, he produces like an All-Star.

He’s also not a great shooter, which suggests he won’t age exceptionally well. Even now, if he has slipped to the point a team can’t rely on him for big usage, his skills don’t translate well to being a complementary player.

Contenders could use him, but many of them lack the cap room to make a big offer. Younger teams with cap room probably won’t throw money at Wade at this point.

And that’s just now. Even with the cap shooting up, Wade might not like his prospects in free agency at age 34 next season.

The Heat have plenty of leverage.

But Wade has some, too. He needs to find just one team willing to pay him, and the Lakers serve as a believable threat.

I can understand why Wade wouldn’t want to accept fewer than $10 million per year. I also understand why the Heat would offer so little.

If he signs for multiple years, that cuts into their precious 2016 cap space. Of course, if Wade opts in and counts on them to pay him in 2016, this is a strong signal they won’t. What they give Wade for 2016-17 is money they can’t spend on other free agents like Durant.

In theory, Miami’s can lowball Wade for now and adjust their offer if he actually opts out. The Heat’s goal seems to be convincing him to opt in.

But they also run the risk of upsetting him to the point he wants to leave.