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As the Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets continue their pursuit of 12-time All-Star Dwyane Wade, the possibility of a guaranteed third year on his contract has emerged as his priority in the marketplace, league sources told The Vertical.
The Miami Heat have countered with a two-year, approximately $40 million offer, as the Sun-Sentinel reported, but Wade seems determined in his desire for a longer-term contract, league sources said.
There has been dialogue on setting up a face-to-face meeting between the Bulls and Wade this week, but nothing has yet to be solidified, league sources said.
Wade’s been unhappy with a lower initial offer from Miami, which was partly due to the need to re-sign center Hassan Whiteside and pursue All-Star forward Kevin Durant. Nevertheless, Wade has been aggressive in the marketplace, letting teams know he’s serious about considering a move out of Miami, sources said. Wade has played 13 seasons for the Heat, won three NBA titles and has become synonymous with the South Florida sporting community.
In the end, this could all be a leverage push to make Miami pay him his market salary, but several teams – including the Bulls and Nuggets –– have been willing to ride out the process with him, sources said.
Wade, 34, had an excellent season for the Heat, averaging 19 points and leading a depleted roster to a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Wade has taken less than his maximum salary value on three straight deals to allow the Heat to supplement the roster with top talent. This time, the Heat were trying to balance the re-signing of Whiteside to a four-year, $98 million maximum deal with their pursuit of Durant, who decided to join Golden State.
Wade had been the cornerstone of the recruitment of LeBron James and Chris Bosh to the Heat, which led to two NBA titles. There’s some risk in Wade’s stance, because there could come a point in which Miami ownership and management balks, refuses to offer additional guaranteed years and challenges Wade to leave the franchise.