The plot thickens on the Dwyane Wade saga. After previous reports linked him to the Knicks and Bucks, The Vertical‘s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Wade is fielding offers from at least four teams, some of which are in the range of $20 million annually.
The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks have started a courtship process that has included offers in length of two and three years and upward of $20 million a season – a salary the Heat so far have been reluctant to offer, league sources said.
The Nuggets and Bulls have been among the most aggressive pursuers of Wade, league sources said.
Milwaukee has been open to sitting down and talking with Wade, but it doesn’t have the salary-cap space – nor yet the full inclination – to make that kind of a commitment to Wade, league sources said.
Wade grew up in Chicago and played college basketball at Marquette in Milwaukee.
Wojnarowski’s report also indicates that the Heat lowballed Wade on their initial offer, which was in the neighborhood of $10 million annually.
The Heat’s initial offer of $10 million annually – which would’ve constituted a 50 percent pay cut from his $20 million 2015-16 salary – deeply angered Wade, league sources told The Vertical. Even with the Heat planning to counter to a higher figure, league sources said, Wade has been insistent on starting to explore the market and meet with teams once he returns from an overseas vacation, league sources said.
Wade has taken pay cuts several times over the years in Miami — first in 2010 to allow LeBron James and Chris Bosh to come over in free agency, and again in 2014 to allow the Heat to re-sign Bosh. He signed a one-year, $20 million deal last summer.
Wade, of course, has every right to feel slighted by the Heat’s current offer after everything he’s sacrificed for them. And if this is all about money, then going to one of those other teams would be the move. But none of the four teams pursuing Wade are guaranteed to be playoff teams, and in the case of the Bulls and Nuggets it’s highly unlikely they’re in the postseason. So Wade will have to weigh that against the financial side of it if he does decide to leave Miami, which is still tough to imagine.