Three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat may be on the verge of leaving South Beach after 12 seasons. Wade has a player option at $16.1 million and wants to stay in Miami, but it appears the contract talks for an extension between the two sides are far apart.
With the Heat brass seemingly unwilling to meet Wade’s desired extension, it seems as though the veteran guard could be headed elsewhere. If the two sides can’t see eye-to-eye before June 29, Wade will likely opt out of his deal to become an unrestricted free agent and the Los Angeles Lakers may be a destination for the future Hall of Famer, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report:
…. (6th) Finally, if Wade went anywhere, at any point, I've typically heard L.A. as an option. But I still expect Heat to sort this out.
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 28, 2015
All the buzz surrounding the Lakers heading into free agency this summer has the storied franchise linked to Kevin Love. Los Angeles will certainly express interest in Love if the veteran forward opts out of his deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to convince him to come to Los Angeles.
As usual, the Lakers are rumored to be interested in every big-name set to hit the open market in July. The list of players include Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Rajon Rondo and Greg Monroe.
The consensus seems to be Rondo will be headed to Los Angeles with a decent chance of Love also joining him in purple and gold. Wade becoming available may make things interesting with the Lakers potentially seeing value in bringing in the aging superstar.
Unfortunately, even though Wade may be an option the Lakers explore, signing the 33-year-old may be a step in the wrong direction. When healthy, Wade is one of the best guards in the league without question. Although he excels when healthy, the veteran has never played a full 82 games in any of his 12 seasons in the league. In fact, Wade has played in 69 games or less in the past four seasons with the Heat.
With the Lakers having constant injury problems over the last few years, the last thing the team needs is to bring in an aging injury prone star on the downside of his career. Wade may be a great piece for the Lakers as a backup if they were in title contention, but at this point, it seems like the wrong move.