MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In a trade deadline shocker, the prodigal son has returned. The Miami Heat have acquired Dwyane Wade from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“It’s good man. I’m happy for him. I’m happy for the opportunity to play the game of basketball with him, to lead with him. The guys are excited about the opportunity,” Udonis Haslem told CBS4 News. “He and I talked about playing together but we didn’t see it happening so soon. We figured it would probably be next year….I can see him fitting in right away.”
Wade departed Miami for the Chicago Bulls as a free agent in 2016. He signed in Cleveland last summer to join LeBron James (after the Bulls bought him out,) but the Cavaliers are now looking to go younger.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the story on Thursday afternoon:
The face of the Miami Heat franchise is headed back home. Wade spent 13 years in a Heat uniform, winning three championships along the way. He recently stated his desire to finish his career with the Miami Heat. His wish becomes a reality, even sooner than expected.
As noted by Wojnarowski, the Heat didn’t have to give up a crucial asset to bring Wade back to South Florida. Miami will send the Cavs a heavily protected second-round draft pick.
Ira Winderman from the South Florida Sun Sentinel shared Hassan Whiteside’s immediate reaction to finding out Wade is returning.
“Are you for real?” Whiteside asked. Hassan was grinning from ear to ear when talking about his on-court chemistry with Wade. “I love D-Wade, man! Throw them lobs. That would be great. His IQ is amazing and sometimes people take that for granted.”
Wade arrived in South Florida just after 8 p.m. on a private jet.
Only CBS4 caught the All-Star as he talked with a Miami Heat production crew at the airport.
“It was a good plane ride,” Wade said. “Been getting a ton of text messages.”
When someone asked him about how he felt to be back, he said “warm” and laughed.
“Heat Nation, wow I haven’t said that in a long time…it feels so good,” Wade said. “Heat Nation I’m excited to see you guys, I hope you guys are excited to see me. I can’t wait to get back on the court, be in a Miami Heat jersey. I’ll see you guys soon.”
The news spread fast but not fast enough.
In an exclusive interview with CBS4, Dwyane Wade Sr. says he knew something was up when he talked to his son Wednesday night.
“We were texting each other about All-Star Weekend and I was texting him about why he wasn’t at the game and he was saying that he was doing something like he was going somewhere and he was like why you not at the game? But I guess he was just letting know that he knew about it and we didn’t that’s all,” said Wade Sr.
CBS Miami’s Amber Diaz contributed to this story.