There will be no Luol Deng last minute change of heart.
Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat have been at an impasse for a while now — reportedly as much as a $24 million impasse. So Wade is using the only leverage he has.
Wade will not opt-in to the next year of his contract with Miami, reports Ramona Shelburne at ESPN.
This is the opposite of a surprise. From Wade’s perspective, he left money on the table both to bring the big three together, and then again the Heat to rebuild the roster after LeBron James went home. Now Wade wants to get paid, reportedly seeking in the $20 million a year range.
The Heat front office still wants that flexibility and sees a diminishing on the court role for Wade. They reportedly hoped he would take far less than $16 million a year after this season, maybe closer to $10 million.
When Wade can get on the court he still is an All-Star level player — he averaged 21.5 points a game last season, he can still get to the rim and he had a PER of 21.4 — he’s still fairly efficient. But he has chronic knee issues and only played in 62 games last season, after 54 the season before that. His minutes have to be kept in check at this point.
The real question for Wade and his effort to leverage the Heat: Who is going to give him more money than Miami? That list of teams may be very slim at this point in his career.
But it looks like we are going to find out.