Way of Wade

The Miami Heat has a lot of things to address this off-season. They need to revamp this roster if they want to win another championship. We will all be paying attention to what decision the big 3 decides to make. Most people think the most important person in the big 3 is LeBron James but I beg to differ. I think we need to pay attention to what Dwyane Wade decides to do.  

Don’t get me wrong LeBron is the best player in the league but Wade is the important piece. The Heat rested Wade all season and some of his numbers dipped but he has never been more efficient. His shooting percentage has increased over the last two seasons. The maintenance program seemed to be working as he had three straight 20+ point games against the Pacers. His scoring output decreased in the last three games of that series but the Heat made it to the Finals. They saved Wade all season for this moment. 

Wade scored over 20 points one time in the finals, a 19 point blowout lost at home. He was being outplayed by Danny Green and Patty Mills, and he couldn’t stay in front of Kawhi Leonard. The Heat made it to the Finals four years in a row which is a big accomplishment but the maintenance program failed the Heat. Wade is no longer the player he was when he recruited Bosh and LeBron. He has never added a three point shot to expand his game so he doesn’t space the floor like the other players on the court for the Heat. Wade is due $40 million dollars over the next two seasons if he opts into his contract. 

When LeBron joined the team Wade eventually told him that he needed to be the leader so they could win. Wade rode shotgun for the Heat as LeBron led them. These days Wade is no longer in the passenger seat, he’s a backseat driver. We all know the big 3 needs to take a pay cut but is Wade willing to give up all that money? He should get paid less than LeBron and Bosh because he doesn’t have much time left. In games 4 and 5 against the Spurs he was missing layups, pump faking more than usually because he couldn’t get any lift on his jumpers.  

He’s 32 years old and he probably wants to play another three or four years. I don’t think he can play another three or four years at the level he thinks he can. I would give him a two year deal with an option for the third year. Sooner or later Wade might have to come off the bench for this Heat team. LeBron joined a superstar in Wade but he is no longer that and LeBron can’t carry them to a title. When LeBron fouled out in game 5 against Indiana, Wade and Bosh did not step up.  

There is no need to panic in Miami but Wade needs to sit down and think about how much he wants to win. If he is all in with winning he will take a big pay cut and try to do anything to help this team. The maintenance program might get Wade to the Finals but that doesn’t mean he will be a factor. The Heat need pieces and I’m sure Pat Riley will figure something out but Wade’s decision is just as important this summer than any other potential free agent.