Dwyane Wade and the Heat are at an impasse.
Due $16,125,000 next season if he exercises his player option, Wade reportedly wants $20 million per year.
But those reports have overlooked a key factor – how the money would be structured.
A friend of Dwyane Wade has been telling people that Miami’s preference is to give Wade $36 million over three years — $16 million this season, then $10 million and $10 million.
That’s quite a difference from Wade’s preference for $60 million over three, according to that friend. Neither the Heat nor his agent is confirming numbers. I would expect that gap to close somewhat, but the question is how much.
Wade has indicated he’ll opt out, which would blow up that plan.
But I’m not sure how viable that plan is, anyway.
Wade can’t sign a contract extension, so those $10 million payments in 2016-17 and 2017-18 aren’t binding. Does Wade trust Miami – trying to leave room to re-sign Hassan Whiteside in 2016 – to follow through?
Even if he opts out, Wade could re-sign a new deal worth $16 million the first season. But it could decline to just $14.8 million in year two and $13.6 million in year three. It would have to be a one-year contract with a follow-up two-year contract signed in 2016 (or separate follow-up one-year contracts signed in 2016 and 2017), which leaves the same trust issue.
And those sums probably aren’t worth taking a chance on regardless. Wade is aging and injury-prone, so there’s risk. But he’s an All-Star talent when on the floor. I bet he could get more on the open market, especially as the salary cap explodes in 2016.
It seems the Heat are lowballing Wade to push him to opt in. But they risk angering him and causing him to opt out and look elsewhere.