Gone in a Flash?
*Photo via Getty Images
With the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft the Miami Heat selected a shooting guard from Chicago, Illinois. How did the rookie fair in the NBA? Well, if his career ended today, he would be considered one of the greatest shooting guards to play the game and a no doubt Hall of Famer. The awards and accolades speak for themselves. A three-time champion, NBA Finals MVP, 12 time All-Star and two-time All-NBA First Team. Dwyane Wade became known as Flash or self-proclaimed WOW (Way Of Wade) and helped the Miami Heat become a legitimate NBA championship contender and revitalized the NBA franchise.
As NBA free agency opened on July 1 and due to the rise in salary cap, contracts were handed out like flyers. The Heat were among several teams that met with free agent Kevin Durant with the hope of drawing him away from Oklahoma City. They tried to form “The Super Team 2”; however, Thunder didn’t strike twice, as Durant decided to sign a two-year, $54.3 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. As the focus was on Durant, Heat fans began to hear reports that Wade became frustrated and felt disrespected with the Heat ‘s $10 million annually offer. The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks quickly began to actively pursue Wade. Milwaukee could be a threat to lure Wade away as he played college basketball at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The Heat quickly shifted its focus to retaining their all time-leading scorer. On Monday, they offered Wade a two-year, $40 million contract.
As amazing as Wade’s career has been for the Heat, he has never been the highest paid player on the team. In 2010, he took a contract that offered a pay cut in order to allow Miami to sign Chris Bosh and LeBron James. After signing Hassan Whiteside to a four-year, $98 million contract, he’ll earn $24 million annually, the trend for Wade may continue even if he re-signs with the team. There has never been a player in the Heat’s organization that deserves more than Wade. He has called the organization home for 13 seasons and led them to their first championship in 2006. After taking a pay cut for so many seasons, it may finally be time for Wade to make the money he deserves. Back in July 2010 the Miami-Dade County commissioners voted to rename the county, Miami-Wade County from July 1 to 7. They might consider naming it permanently to honor the greatest player in the organization’s history.
Will Wade be the latest superstar to leave the franchise that drafted him? As Chris Bosh’s health continues to raise question marks, losing Wade would leave the Heat with Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, and Josh McRoberts, and Whiteside. Certainty a frustrating scenario that would leave Heat fans pondering and dreaming of the days when James, Wade and Bosh ruled the Eastern Conference.
*Info courtesy SBnation