Wade to Stay with Heat
It was just announced that Dwyane Wade will be returning to the Miami Heat next season. He has signed a one year deal valued at $20 million, which is huge compared to all of the past contracts he has had negotiated. But not compared to what he has turned down. Back in 2010, he gave up money to help the Heat build a championship team, and then gave up even more money in 2014 to help them to keep that team. The first sacrifice resulted in a success as the Heat won the Championship in 2012 and 2013, while they went to the Finals in 2011 and 2014, only to lose. The dynasty they created was impressive, but rather short lived after LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, Wade has lost money overall as he gave up even bigger contracts before this to try and get James and Bosh to stay in Miami. So while he did lose money overall, he still has been given a huge amount of money for just one year. It will be interesting to see where this goes the following season.
What was Wade’s purpose with this re-signing? He probably could have signed with a number of teams, even teams with a better outlook than the Heat in 2016. He didn’t stay with the Heat because he needs another ring. Rather, he signed with them because of the money. And when a player is awarded a huge, yet short term, contract like this, you can be assured that other teams are paying attention. In a situation like this, performance is extremely important. If Wade ever wants to see a huge contract from the Heat, or any other team, again, he will need to play better than he has in a while. A big contract can often boost performance incentive as the player will want to get an even bigger contract the following year. This is something that fantasy basketball players will want to consider for sure.
Or, it can have the opposite effect. Wade is 32, and will be 33 by the time next year’s postseason begins. This is not ancient for an NBA star, but it’s no secret that Wade is likely past his prime. He’s struggled with injuries lately and is 10 or more years older than many other stars at this moment. He started playing for the Heat in 2003, and likely wants to finish his career in Miami, too. He’s been a fan favorite for a while, and this huge contract might just be a way of saying thanks before he retires. While Wade did make the All Star team this year, he missed 20 games and the Heat missed the playoffs. Over the last four seasons, he’s missed 78 games–which is just a few shy of an entire regular season. Hopefully, the team’s success will change next season, but there’s no way that will happen unless Wade gets support from the rest of his team and he can stay healthy. The Heat also appear to be targeting Kevin Durant once he becomes a free agent, and they have timed things perfectly. The NBA’s salary cap will be going up for the 2016-2017 season by about $20 million per year. There will plenty of room for the Heat to add more talent without sacrificing the pay of current players.
It was a big day in the NBA as many other players announced signings. Be sure to see how those signings fit in with past contracts and if there are any implications for the future. Sometimes, all it takes are a few well timed contracts to create the next NBA super power.