All that tension and those nightmare scenarios: false alarm. After weeks of reports of a rift between the Heat and Dwyane Wade about his future contract status, it only took until the second day of free agency for the two sides to work things out. For now, at least. As first reported by the Associated Press‘ Tim Reynolds, Wade has agreed to a one-year deal worth $20 million to stay with the only team he has ever played for.
FLASH: Dwyane Wade accepts deal to stay with Miami Heat, source tells The Associated Press.
Wade posted a video on Instagram featuring the tagline “My City, My Home, My House” and the caption “Let’s get it! #HeatNation”
Wade and his agent, Henry Thomas, both released statements about the new deal. Here’s Wade:
“It has been an honor and privilege to play with the Miami HEAT the past twelve years. The HEAT family and I have shared incredible moments over the years and I look forward to continuing our journey. I am extremely proud of my personal contributions in helping to build the HEAT franchise and for bringing three NBA championship wins to our great city. For my entire NBA career, Miami has always been my city and my home. I’m overwhelmed with the love and support the Miami community have consistently shown me and my family throughout the years.”
And here’s Thomas:
“This contract is a win-win for both Dwyane and the HEAT. Not only does Dwyane get to extend his Hall of Fame-worthy career with the only franchise for whom he has ever played, but he will have the flexibility next summer to sign an additional deal. And the HEAT gets to keep their franchise cornerstone while having the ability to build a championship-contending roster.”
This is a good compromise for both sides. It’s an improvement over the $16 million Wade was slated to make this season before he opted out of his contract, so it goes at least part of the way toward repaying the money he’s left on the table in the past two summers while the Heat’s free agency situation has been in flux. And it’s only a one-year deal, so it won’t jeopardize the Heat’s efforts to chase Kevin Durant next summer. The most likely scenario is that this one-year deal is the Heat’s way of doing right by him now, and in the future he’ll sign a longer-term deal with a smaller annual salary.
This was really the only way this could have gone. With Wade’s health problems in recent years, he wasn’t going to get this kind of money from anybody else if he tested the market, and it would have been a complete disaster for the Heat to lose the player who has been their franchise’s cornerstone for 12 years. For both Wade and the Heat, it was good to get this out of the way now and not let it linger.
Nets reportedly extend Caris LeVert on 3-year, $52.5 million deal
The Brooklyn Nets have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, and that’s going to be important for the next half-decade or so. Those two players will shoulder the bulk of Brooklyn’s championship hopes over that time frame.
But so too is it important for the Nets to keep a strong team around its superstars. Too many teams seem to end up top heavy as they try to chase championships year after year.
To that end, Brooklyn has reportedly signed their own budding star Caris LeVert to an extension that takes him through 2023.
LeVert’s extension is worth a reported $52.5 million, which makes him reasonably paid within the team context and should give him a chance to cash out yet again before he hits age 30.
This season will be an interesting look into how LeVert and Irving work together on the floor without Durant. They can get into some kind of rhythm and find an understanding between them, which is going to be vital for when Durant eventually returns in 2020.
Team USA sees betting odds in World Cup skew downward
Serbia seems like a pretty good shot to usurp the throne for the United States. Nikola Jokic has said that he wants his team to medal, but no doubt he and his squad will be looking for a gold medal.
The United States is suffering from a lack of continuity and star power. That might not matter given that Gregg Popovich is still the head coach and USA Basketball far out matches other countries in terms of raw talent.
But as we saw in 2004, talent doesn’t trump all when it comes to Team USA. The door is open for other countries to grab the top spot for the time being, and oddsmakers think so as well.
Rui Hachimura, the Gonzaga star drafted ninth by the Washington Wizards, is having a blast this summer playing for his native Japan as their national team gears up for the World Cup in China starting in one week.
However, he may never have been more pumped than when his friend, legendary sumo wrestler Hakuho, came out in his robes and drained a free throw.
Sumo wrestler Hakuho hit a free throw and his friend Rui Hachimura got excited. 34 year-old Hakuho is the LeBron James of the sumo. He has dominated sumo for over a decade pic.twitter.com/8lhk8nNqML
I need to see a sumo wrestler pickup game now more than I need anything else in my life. I want to see the battle for post position.
Hachimura has played well for Japan, he dropped 31 points on Germany in the final tuneup game for the World Cup, showing off a comfort level from the midrange that is impressive. He hit shots off the dribble and on the catch.
Hachimura and Japan are in the same group as Team USA in the World Cup, and the two teams face off Sept. 3 in Shanghai.
Enes Kanter says he might add ‘American’ name once he’s a U.S. citizen (VIDEO)
Enes Kanter has been dealing with being a man without a country for some time. The Turkish-born Boston Celtics center has openly criticized Turkish president Recep Erdoğan, And as such he is no longer welcome back in his home country.
In fact, Kanter didn’t have a valid Turkish passport this past spring, so the question of whether he might be able to re-enter the United States if he went to Canada was raised by several Portland Trail Blazers fans, including Senator Ron Wyden.
Kanter has been in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen for some time, and he appears close to that goal. As such, Kanter mentioned this week that he might add an “American” name onto his name when that happens.
Speaking to TMZ, Kanter said that, “I’m actually becoming a U.S. citizen in two years: I’m actually thinking about adding an American name. I’m still thinking about it. I don’t know yet.”
One of the newest Celtics, Kanter appears to have a diplomatic way about him and the ability to network with folks higher up. Given amount of time, resources, and potential political power behind him as an NBA player, there is hope that he will become an U.S. citizen.
Whether Kanter really wants to add an ”American” name — whatever that’s supposed to mean — is anyone’s guess. One of the founding principles of this country is the concept of the melting pot, and so a great American name for Enes Kanter would be… Enes Kanter.