Report: Dwyane Wade Being Comfortable With His Role Is Critical For Heat Return

Dwyane Wade
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp for the Miami Heat opens Sept. 25 and Dwyane Wade is still an unrestricted free agent.

Wade will either retire or suit up for his 16th season in the league. The best player in Miami Heat history averaged 12.0 points in 21 games with the club last season. Wade began the year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was traded to Miami at the 2018 February trade deadline.

The Chicago native posted 16.6 points and 3.6 assists per game during the postseason and shot 44.3 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from three. Wade, who will turn 37 in January of 2019, turned back the clock a few times during the Heat’s first-round playoff loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Wade scored 28 points in the Game 2 win and 25 in the Game 4 loss.

The biggest question in South Beach right now is why hasn’t Wade made a decision yet? One person who has spoken to Wade, as well as a Heat person, has the impression that Wade seems inclined to play this season, but neither believes it’s definite and nobody outside Wade’s inner circle definitively knows his intentions — according to a report from Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Greg Cote, who also writes for The Miami Herald, apparently has the answer as to why Wade is still on the open market.

“I am also told by representatives of the club and of the player that Wade being comfortable with his role is critical,” Cote wrote in his latest column. “I have not been told Wade would demand to start. But does he see himself good for more than 25 minutes a game? He mentioned recently that he embraces a mentor’s role for the club’s many young guys still developing, ‘But you also want to play,’ he added. A significant addendum, I thought.”

Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, have been vacationing in Napa, California, this week. Wade will be back in Miami on Thursday to open a restaurant with his good friend Udonis Haslem, who officially re-signed with the Heat on a one-year deal.