For all the posturing, the speculation, and the prematurely hurt feelings of fan bases, the Miami Heat and franchise shooting guard Dwyane Wade quietly agreed to an one-year $20 million extension that is favorable to both sides.
The extension, first reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, makes Wade the second highest paid player on the Heat roster behind power forward Chris Bosh. It also allows Miami, depending on the structure of point guard Goran Dragic’s five-year $90 million extension, to have as much as $42 million in cap space in 2016 when Kevin Durant will be a free agent.
In between the end of the Heat’s regular season and Thursday there was much speculation that a rift had developed between Wade and the team front office as far as how much he was worth. During that time Wade began posturing with the Heat via social media until he officially opted out of his previous contract on Tuesday.
What fixed the issue according to Wade were meetings with Heat team owner Micky Arison and his son, team CEO Nick Arison. During those meetings the Heat patriarchs showed how much Wade is still valued to the franchise and the city of Miami.
With Wade coming back along with small forward Luol Deng, who opted in on the last year of his current contract on Monday, the Heat starting five for the NBA 2015-16 season is set. Wade and Dragic will man the backcourt alongside a front line of Bosh, Deng and center Hassan Whiteside. Take into account the return of forward Josh McRoberts and the addition of the #10 pick of the 2015 draft Justise Winslow and Miami has a playoff caliber roster heading into next season.