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Could Dwyane Wade Leave the Heat?

The idea of Dwyane Wade leaving the Miami Heat sounds crazy, but Wade is open to leaving South Beach if there’s no resolution to his current contract impasse, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Wade opted out of the final two years of his last contract with the Heat last offseason in order to give the team more flexibility to add pieces in an effort to convince LeBron James to stay. James wound up leaving anyway, and Wade signed a two-year, $31 million deal with a player option of $16.1 million for next year. The last contract would have paid him nearly $42 million if he didn’t opt out.

Wade has until late June to decide what to do about his player option for next year, and he reportedly wants to opt out and sign a new lucrative three-year deal. Meanwhile, the Heat would prefer him to opt in and then talk about a new deal next summer.

In addition to this difference in preference, there’s apparently a large gap in how much money Wade wants and how much Miami wants to pay him. While the 12-year veteran remains a high-level player when healthy, he’s injured far too often, and the Heat have some concerns about committing huge dollars to a guy who’s hurt all the time considering the makeup of the rest of the roster.

Ultimately, Wade would like to stay in Miami, where he has played his entire career. The Heat would surely love to have Wade play his entire career there, even despite some of the team’s concerns and some brewing tension between Wade and Pat Riley.¬†Wade has helped bring three championships to Miami, so a messy exit would be a shame.

Now the two sides just need to figure out a way to make it work. Otherwise, perhaps Wade really would shock everybody and take his talents away from South Beach.

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