Posts Tagged ‘Miami Heat’

Now that he’s back with the Miami HeatDwyane Wade says there will be no other stops in his NBA career.

“This is it for me, guys. I’m going to stay here until I decide to hang it up,” Wade told NBA TV’s Grant Hill on Friday night. “This is home, and I’m so happy to be back.”

After a season-and-a-half detour through the city of his birth with the Chicago Bulls, and 46 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade was traded back to the Heat on Thursday for a future second-round pick. He received a thunderous ovation upon his return to American Airlines Arena on Friday, scoring three points in a Miami win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Wade is as synonymous with the Heat as any player in franchise history, and judging by he and his wife Gabrielle Union’s happiness at the return, it’s clear they never wanted to leave South Florida.

Wade is currently on a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum of $2.3 million. The 36-year-old has slowed over the last few seasons, but can still be productive offensively. An impasse with team president Pat Riley over a new deal drove Wade away from the Heat in 2016.

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Dwyane Wade is happy to be heading home.

Though a native of Chicago, it was with the Miami Heat with which Wade first made a name for himself in the NBA, leading the side to three NBA championships in the first 13 seasons of his career before opting to sign with his hometown Bulls two summers ago as a free agent.

Now, after being swapped for a second-round pick by the Cleveland Cavaliersat Thursday’s deadline, Wade is getting a chance to return to where it all began, though he didn’t expect it to be this soon.

“I always felt that one day it would happen,” Wade told The Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds. “For me, it’s always been a hope. You just don’t know how or when you’re going to get there.”

Upon their arrival in Miami, Wade, and perhaps more notably, wife Gabrielle Union, looked ecstatic to ditch the frigid Cleveland air and be back in the warmer Florida weather. As for his role with the Heat, team president Pat Riley told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that he expects Wade will be used in a reserve role, though he added the 36-year-old shooting guard “still has a lot left in the tank.”

Wade is more than happy to come off the bench if he has to.

“Don’t matter,” Wade told Reynolds. “I can’t wait to embrace whatever role I have.”

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He may be wearing Cleveland Cavaliers colors in 2017-18, but before he hangs up his kicks for good, Dwyane Wade will make sure he returns to the Miami Heat.

“Miami, the door’s always unlocked,” Wade told The Associated Press. “One day I want to retire in a Miami Heat jersey. I don’t know how that will happen, but I definitely want to make sure that when I decide to hang it up, that jersey is on. Whether it’s being back there or signing a one-day deal like Paul Pierce, I want to make sure that I go out the way I came in.”

Wade spent the first 13 seasons of his career in South Beach after being drafted fifth overall in 2003. He captured three championships with the organization, and remains the team’s all-time leader in games played, minutes, points, assists, and steals.

A reunion was on the table once the 35-year-old was bought out of his contract with the Chicago Bulls, yet Wade elected for a different reunion with his former Heat teammate in LeBron James.

Wade also feels Miami has a good thing going with the pieces they have in place, and should look to build off its prosperous finish to the 2016-17 regular season.

“Honestly, I didn’t feel they needed me there,” Wade said. “I feel that those guys are in a good place. They deserve to come back this year and see what that 30-11 was about. They don’t need me there over their shoulder or anything like that. That’s kind of how I approached it.”

 NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings
Gordon Hayward is officially bound for Beantown, with the Boston Celtics announcing Friday they signed the prized unrestricted free agent.

After spending the first seven years of his NBA career with the Utah Jazz, Hayward tested the open market for the first time this summer, meeting with his incumbent team in addition to the Celtics and Miami Heat.

In a saga documented by his agent, Mark Bartelstein, Hayward changed his mind multiple times before making the “gut-wrenching” choice to leave the only club he’s ever known for greener pastures in Boston.

Hayward personally announced the decision with a post on The Players’ Tribune, indicating he thinks he can win a title with the Celtics, who reached the Eastern Conference finals this past season. The Indiana native is also excited to reunite with Brad Stevens, who was his coach at Butler and currently mans the sidelines for the men in green.

The Jazz and Celtics reportedly discussed sign-and-trade options involving Hayward and small forward Jae Crowder, but Danny Ainge ultimately elected against compensating his new star’s former club.

Although nothing materialized on that front, Boston did need to clear cap space in order to pay Hayward the max, so the organization shipped off starting shooting guard Avery Bradley – who has one year and $8.8 million left on his contract – to the Detroit Pistons.

The Celtics rolled out the red carpet for the 27-year-old Hayward, enhancing their recruiting meeting with a video at Fenway Park and appearances from stars he’d join in Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford.

Hayward’s coming off his best season yet, as he averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and a steal over 73 games. He also earned his first All-Star nod and led the Jazz to the West semifinals.

In Boston, he’ll round out a talented Big Three and boost the club’s chances of taking down the Cleveland Cavaliers, who eliminated the Celtics in five games in the East finals.

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Everyone in the league has their own solution to address tanking, but Miami Heat president Pat Riley’s suggestion might be the most entertaining.

Riley wants non-playoff teams to play a tournament for the right to select first overall, instead of having a random lottery with weighted odds determine their fate.

“What I’d like to have is a two-out-of-three lottery playoff … The lottery teams play a tournament for that (No. 1) pick,” Riley told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel on Monday.

Riley added, “No more tanking at the end … so play for it. Let’s have a little playoff for the top pick in the draft.”

The current rules reward those at the bottom and penalize teams that come closest to making the playoffs. A franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers that had no aspirations of winning landed the second pick for a third straight year, while a team like the Heat that refused to tank after a 11-30 start got the No. 14 selection following a brilliant finish.

Under Riley’s structure, there would always be an incentive to build the strongest roster possible. The Heat didn’t make the playoffs, but their roster would have ranked as a favorite to win the lottery sweepstakes and take the top pick. At the very least, it would create an entertaining product.

But there are flaws, too, with Riley’s plan. Low playoff seeds might choose to tank into the lottery if they prefer a strong chance at a pick over a small chance in the postseason. This structure might also leave poor franchises without any chance of upward mobility through the draft.

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The Miami Heat announced they have officially waived power forward Chris Bosh. In a move of pure class, the Heat have also decided to retire Bosh’s jersey.

“He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise,” said team president Pat Riley. “The No. 1 will never be worn by another player and we can’t wait to someday hang his jersey in the rafters.”

By waiving the 33-year-old, the Heat will enter the NBA’s official free agency July 6 with roughly $34 million in available cap space. Removing Bosh from the roster saves roughly $25 million for each of the next two years.

Bosh will, however, receive the remaining $52.1 million on his contract “with insurance paying a substantial chunk of that,” according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

The former Toronto Raptor signed with the Heat in 2010 helping initiate their “Big Three” movement alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The trio would go on to win back-to-back NBA championships in 2012 and 2013.

Unfortunately, Bosh’s significant health concerns came to light in 2015. A blood clotting diagnosis midway through the season cut his campaign short after just 44 games.

He would go on to play 53 games the following year, but again saw his season stifled by the diagnosis. This time his health concern was deemed “career-ending.”

Bosh’s most recent NBA action came February 2, 2016 against the Sacramento Kings.

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Free agent Gordon Hayward is about to become a very wealthy man. And it may not be as a member of the Utah Jazz or the Boston Celtics, to whom he’s been linked for months.

The Miami Heat have now entered the fray as a dark horse candidate to land the 2017-18 All-Star wing, which is worrying the Jazz, per ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Miami has had a seat at the table in many free-agent conversations in recent years. With a tropical locale and favorable state income tax that leaves more money in the players’ pockets, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the organization swing for the fences with a big offseason acquisition.

With Chris Bosh‘s $25-million cap hold coming off the books because of career-ending health concerns, Pat Riley’s front office is going to have room to cut a major deal. That could include Hayward, who averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists this season.

Heat cornerstones Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic are under contract through at least the 2018-19 season, but key rotation players James Johnson and Dion Waiters are up for new deals. With a degree of financial flexibility, the Heat could conceivably target Hayward and retain one or both of Johnson and Waiters.

Adding Hayward wouldn’t make the Heat a legitimate contender, at least as long as a healthy LeBron James is patrolling the Eastern Conference, but it would move the them back toward playoff contention after missing the postseason for just the third time in 14 seasons.