During an appearance to celebrate his new restaurant Thursday night, Dwyane Wade said he still hasn’t decided if he’s going to play this season with the Miami Heat.
Training camp for the Heat opens Sept. 25 and Wade is still an unrestricted free agent.
“I wish I had that answer for you,” Wade told Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “I don’t have it today. Whichever day the decision comes, it comes. And that’s the right day, whatever day that is.”
Wade will either retire or suit up for his 16th season in the league. The best player in Heat history averaged 12.0 points in 21 games with the club last season. Wade began last year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was traded to Miami at the 2018 February trade deadline.
“I don’t want to pack my bags to go nowhere,” Wade said. “My family is here, my kids are growing. If I’m not wearing a Miami Heat jersey next year, I’ll be wearing it underneath one of my sweaters or jackets.”
The Heat have already surpassed the luxury tax threshold. Miami’s options to bring Wade back are limited to a $2.4 million veteran’s minimum deal or the $5.3 million taxpayer mid-level exception. It’s expected to take the $5.3 million exception to re-sign Wade.
Greg Cote, who also writes for The Miami Herald, apparently has the answer as to why Wade is still on the open market.
“I am also told by representatives of the club and of the player that Wade being comfortable with his role is critical,” Cote wrote in his latest column. “I have not been told Wade would demand to start. But does he see himself good for more than 25 minutes a game? He mentioned recently that he embraces a mentor’s role for the club’s many young guys still developing, ‘But you also want to play,’ he added. A significant addendum, I thought.”
Dwyane Wade averaged 16.6 points and 3.6 assists per game during the 2018 postseason and shot 44.3 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from three. The future Hall of Famer, who will turn 37 in January of 2019, turned back the clock a few times during the Heat’s first-round playoff loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Wade scored 28 points in the Game 2 win and 25 in the Game 4 loss.