League execs say ‘there is not a robust market’ for Dwyane Wade in free agency

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Dwyane Wade is viewed by many as having declined in recent seasons, primarily due to a combination of age and injury.

But he’s still capable of performing at a very high level, if not necessarily for an entire 82-game season.

Wade was the Eastern Conference’s third leading scorer last year, behind only Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. If the Heat don’t meet his contract demands, he could become a key contributor on a contending team if he chooses to leave in free agency. But there may not be many clubs that would be willing to take that risk at the price he would command.

Chris Broussard of ESPN.com:

League execs telling me there is not a robust market for DWade because of his age (33) and injury problems.

This may be true, but it only takes one team to step up with a contract offer that would make Miami nervous.

Teams like the Knicks and the Lakers immediately come to mind, because their large markets demand star power to sell those high-priced seats. It’s the reason New York gave Carmelo Anthony a max contract, and it’s the reason L.A. overpaid Kobe Bryant on the final two years of his deal.

Wade returning to the Heat remains the likeliest outcome of his journey into free agency. And even if there aren’t many teams that come calling, there will almost certainly be one or two that are willing to have that conversation.