MIAMI – Dwyane Wade has been in the news quite a bit this season, but not for the reasons he would have liked.
Whether it was for criticizing his teammates or taking veiled shots at his coach or wondering about the direction of the Chicago Bulls, Wade has been outspoken about the situation in Chicago.
Now, with just one month remaining in the season and the Bulls in a five-team battle – along with the Heat – for one of the final three playoff spots, the time is getting closer to when Wade has to make a decision on whether he returns to Chicago after one season or possibly attempts to bury the hatchet and come back to Miami.
We answer that and a question about the Heat’s backup point guard situation in the latest installment of our mailbag.
If you weren’t able to submit a question send them in for future mailbags via Twitter to @Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44.
@gdehoogh: What happens with Dwade? You think he stays/opts out? Comeback to miami on a much smaller $$ deal?
Things have not quite turned out for Wade as he expected when he decided to sign with his hometown team for what turned out to be difference of $3.5 million a year. Chicago has not embraced Wade as we all thought and the product on the court has been a huge disappointment.
The first move is up to Wade. Does he come back or leave $23.8 million on the table. My guess is he is feeling the vibe that the Bulls would love him to bolt, is not interested in being part of the team’s rebuild and does not opt in, figuring he will make up some of that money with a two year deal.
Then it’s up to the Heat. … First the money. Would they offer (and would he accept) two years for $26 to $28 million. That would mean spending about $13 million of your available cap money this summer on a 35-year old, albeit one who continues to be mostly productive, averaging 18.8 points on 43.5 percent shooting. The bigger question is does Wade make the Heat better? One thing is certain, Goran Dragic is a better player with Dion Waiters as his backcourt mate than Wade and the Dragic-Waiters backcourt is far more effective for Heat style. But is Miami willing to pay Waiters, who also will be a free agent, more than Wade? And if he comes back, could Wade return in a bench role?
All tough questions to answer today but ones Pat Riley and Andy Elisburg likely are pondering already.
From @OS_KeepinItReal: are the heat set at backup point guard moving forward?
For the most part, the Heat have gotten away this season without a true backup point guard on the roster. Miami has been able to fill in those 14.5 minutes per game in which Dragic is not on the floor with a combination of players that includes Waiters, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson and even James Johnson, who at 6-foot-8 just may be the best at handling the ball among those besides Dragic.
But when Dragic has been out of the lineup Miami is 1-8, further illustrating the void at the position. Miami has tried to expand Tyler Johnson’s game by working him at point guard since last summer but he is not the answer if a backup is needed long term. Same with Richardson. And while Waiters and James Johnson have exceeded their contributions at running the offense, neither would be a great option to handle that spot for a lengthy period in case the starter goes down.
The solution; the Heat must find a true backup point guard in the offseason, someone like Beno Udrih, who was on the roster last season and in training camp before he was part of the final cut down. Someone should be out there whether it’s by making a minor deal or free agent signing.