Report: As deadline nears, signs still point to Dwyane Wade opting out, becoming free agent

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Dwyane Wade signaled his intention to become a free agent when, on ABC during the NBA Finals, he said he would worry about where he played next season “in July.” By July, he’d be a free agent.

While the deadline for Wade to opt-in to the next year of his contract is Monday (for $16.1 million), the indications are he will choose not to and become a free agent. Via Michael Wallace of ESPN.

Nothing has changed in the standoff between the Heat and Wade.

Wade sacrificed financially both to bring the big three together (and win a couple titles) for the Heat and then again last season to help Pat Riley restructure the roster post LeBron James. Now Wade wants to be made whole for those sacrifices; he wanted a new contract in the three-year, $60 million range.

Miami, seeking to maximize their flexibility (and maybe lowball Wade into opting in) reportedly have offered more like three years, $36 million.

This has led to a little bad blood.

The challenge for Wade is finding a team out on the open market that is going to offer much more. The Lakers have been rumored, but they already have a very expensive wing player who may still put up good numbers but is on the back side of his career and has been injured a lot the last couple years. Hard to see a need for two of those. There are not a lot of other teams likely to pay Wade much more than Miami is offering.

Wade will test the market, but in the end he may need to click the ruby slippers together three times and say “there’s no place like home.”