The last time Dwyane Wade had a chance to become a free agent, he got shorted millions of dollars. Naturally, he doesn’t want that to happen again, so now the Heat’s star shooting guard is using a shrewder approach. All indications point to Wade opting out of his current contract with the Heat and becoming a free agent on Wednesday. Wade has one year left on his current deal, and the deadline to pick up that option ends at midnight on Monday. If the deadline passes without any word from Wade or the Heat, then the two sides will begin contract negotiations on Wednesday.
Wade would then seek a multiyear deal for more guaranteed money. While appearing as a TV analyst for ABC during the NBA Finals, Wade hinted toward free agency when he said he would deal with his future “in July.” Wade also referred to playing for the Heat in the past tense, which touched off further speculation.
Contractual acrimony between Wade and the Heat first became public in a story by the Miami Herald earlier this month. In addition to Monday’s deadline on Wade’s contract option, fellow Heat starter Luol Deng must also decide whether or not to enter free agency. He was still undecided Sunday, according to his agent, Herb Rudoy.
Like Wade, Deng has one year left on his contract and, like Wade, Deng might want a new contract for more years. On Thursday, Heat president Pat Riley all but confirmed Wade and Deng would both become free agents. Heat point guard Goran Dragic, who joined the team in February after a blockbuster trade, decided last week to become a free agent. He’s expected to sign a five-year deal with the Heat. “I want all of them to come back,” Riley said. “I’d like to make a deal with all of these players and keep the team we built last year. We’ll find out on July 1. Before that, it really is all speculation. Everybody should just chill a little bit and wait until July 1.”