Okay y’all, I’m going to level with you. The dog days of summer are killing me. My baseball team (White Sox) waived the white flag about a month ago. Because of the changes in the production schedule of quite a few programs summer TV hasn’t really been as exciting as one would expect (besides Thrones, Insecure and maybe one or two other shows). And somehow the start of preseason football has proven to serve more as annoyance than enjoymemt. So with this being the case I tend to cling onto whatever scant basketball news we can get.
So when I heard from an Andy Vescey that Wade’s kids are now enrolled in school in South Florida I initially dismissed it as gossip fodder concerning a move that is probably still weeks if not months away. But for the aforementioned reasons as well as the desire to first get him the hell off my team and second for him to go anywhere other than Cleveland I decided to go down the rabbit hole with this one.
When the first murmurs occurred in regards to a likely buyout from the Bulls there was plenty of speculation surrounding the potential landing spots for the future HOF shooting guard. Not surprisingly, Cleveland immediately found themselves at the top of the list but there was a challenge in thinking of other potential landing spots. While we may have either consciously or subconsciously cited Wade’s success alongside Lebron James as a reason to team up with him in Cleveland we didn’t factor in the success he had in Miami pre-Bron.
Obviously this has some to do with the way D-Wade’s departure went down last summer. As Miami was busy retooling on the fly in the wake of their second season without LeBron in which the Heat missed the postseason for the first time in six campaigns there was an impasse between Wade and Team President Pat Riley. Wade, realizing that he is in the twilight of his playing days, pushed for a long-term deal with the Heat in order to retire there and you know cash out on the merits of his contributions to the organization. Riley, forever the slick and exacting businessman, took this into account but felt that in order to maintain flexibility for the future signing Wade to a pricey long-term deal wasn’t a move that would help achieve this goal.
Now if he does return it will be on terms that are team favorable since they won’t be on the hook for the existing contract. But there’s still the question of his fit on the current Heat. Don’t get me wrong there will be no frowns if he were to suit back up in the red and black. However, it would be irresponsible on my part to point out that his style of play doesn’t really jibe with who the Heat are now and more importantly what made them the most dangerous team in the league for the second half of the season. Much of their success was predicated on ball movement, spacing and three point shooting.
While there are plenty of things Wade still offer Miami with his skill set (he did put up a 18-4-4 per night line on a playoff team last year) these are not things he’s great doing at this juncture of his career. Also, Miami has spent (or invested in other ways) heavily on youth so expect for guys like Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson to get plenty of reps. Then there are the guys that really powered that offense last year in Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters (who just signed a four year deal this summer) that set the tone and had amazing chemistry last season so I wouldn’t expect that either of their minutes would be cut. This isn’t to say that he’ll be riding the bench because when you have D-Wade you use D-Wade. But I think the devil is in the details of how he’s used and how often.
Wade played last year in his hometown, a city that built him. Now he may return to the city where he was one of the architects who constructed something remarkable and memorable. So this raises a pretty interesting question, is he really okay with returning to the house he built that he may hardly recognize?