MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat may be getting the face of the franchise back. Or not.
Dwyane Wade, the player that helped the Heat become a globally recognized NBA team, is expected to be bought out by the Chicago Bulls at some point over the next few months.
It was thought, and believed by LeBron James, that Wade would be joining the Cleveland Cavaliers following the buyout.
But now Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that Wade could be considering a Miami reunion or moving to Los Angeles.
Whether Wade has months to consider his move or weeks remains to be seen as no update on a buyout has come from either side.
It is also not safe to assume that any team Wade wants to play for, including the Heat, would offer him a contract.
Miami fans would likely welcome Wade back with open arms, but the question of where he fits on the team is one that will need to be answered.
Wade is no longer the sure-fire starter that he once was, good for 30+ minutes and 20+ points per game.
Last season in Chicago Wade scored 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 29.9 minutes per game, playing in 60. The totals are all below his career averages of 23.3 points, 4.8 boards and 5.7 assists.
Wade is still an electric player that can help in smaller doses than what he has done during most of his career, but Miami is a team that is deep at guard.
Dion Waiters is the starting shooting guard, followed by Josh Richardson and Wayne Ellington.
Starting at point guard is Goran Dragic and he’s backed up by Tyler Johnson.
Where Wade would fit into that rotation would be an interesting question, especially considering the salary committed to all five of the aforementioned players.
The Heat just spent a good amount of money this summer to bring back Waiters and Ellington. Dragic, Johnson and Richardson have been signed to big deals in recent years.
Really, most of the guards and their positions are interchangeable, which jumbles the situation even more.
Beyond guard Miami has other well-established rotation players like James Johnson and Hassan Whiteside, both also recently signed to big deals, to get the ball to.
And let’s not forget 2015 1st round pick Justise Winslow or the newly inked Kelly Olynyk and his four-year, $50 million contract.
It also must be taken into consideration how well Miami’s current roster of players worked with each other last season, as evidenced by the Heat’s 30-11 run to close out the schedule.
Considering Wade will get a hefty sum from the Bulls for the buyout, it isn’t expected to cost an arm and a leg to sign him, but how much money would Miami be willing to spend for someone that may or may not fit into the rotation?
How much does nostalgia play into that decision, if at all?
Those are interesting questions, ones that Pat Riley has probably been asking himself over the past several weeks.
Remember, Wade played 13 years in Miami. He led the Heat to three championships and was the heart and soul of the franchise for basically his entire tenure.
LeBron may have rented some space in Miami during his four years with the Heat but fans’ love for Wade is as deep-rooted as it can get.
Several elements would have to fall into place for a Wade-Heat reunion, but the move is certainly an interesting one to ponder.