By: Monte Perez
Dwyane Wade was selected by the Miami Heat with the 5th overall pick in the 2003 draft. During his time with Miami, he has appeared 12 all-star games, won 3 NBA Championships and was the finals MVP in 2006. South Beach loves the former Marquette standout. They affectionately call Dade County, “Wade County.” The man who used to be called “Flash” is looking for a 2 -year contract over $40 million. I have one piece of advice for team president Pat Riley… Let Wade Walk.
The common theme on Twitter and with sports broadcasters is that the Heat owe Wade a “big-time” contract because he has won 3 titles and it is time to reward him. Let me be 100% clear here so there is no confusion or ambiguity. This is not going to be popular amongst fans and people in Florida but…The Miami Heat owe Wade nothing, zilch, nada, Zero! According to celebritynetworth.com Wade is worth $95 million. He has earned every penny playing with the Heat and marketing his brand. I have nothing but respect for Wade and what he has done with his basketball career and his life. But, there is no way, even with the salary cap going up to $94.14 million, I would offer Wade, anything more than a 2-year contract worth $14 million per year.
Look at winning organizations around sports. The San Antonio Spurs, the New England Patriots never pay players for what they were. They pay players for what they are… now. Tim Duncan made $5 million last year. Tom Brady has taken numerous pay cuts over the years, all in the name of winning. Two years ago the Lakers made Kobe Bryant the highest paid player in the NBA, it crippled their franchise. I am not saying Wade or any athlete doesn’t deserve all the money they can get. The average career of an NBA player is 4.5 years. Wade should try and make as much money as possible, but Riley owes the franchise loyalty, not one player.
The Heat, as constituted, are not winning an NBA Championship. Riley needs to start rebuilding this roster without their starting shooting guard. If Wade wants to win and get paid, his best option would be to go to Cleveland or New York. This is a unique situation for both sides. What is best for the Heat and best for Wade is that the go their separate ways.
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