The Heat’s season concludes two weeks from today with a home game against Washington.
The team’s hope is that game is meaningful, either as a tune-up for the upcoming playoffs or a chance to get into the postseason.
With the season coming to an end, and even with the playoffs a real possibility, Miami’s future (and its past) continues to be on the minds of Heat fans, which brings us to our mailbag this week.
If you weren’t able to submit a question this week, send them in for future mailbags via Twitter to @Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44.
From @DacotaDryden: where does Wade fit with us if he comes back?
Dwyane Wade’s future will be a hot topic between now and the July. Wade’s season ended in mid-March because of an elbow injury and now he has a decision to make as to whether he wants to return to Chicago for the final year of his contract or decline the $23.8 million player option and once again become a free agent.
Speculation is if the 35-year-old Wade decides he does not want to be part of the Bulls’ youth movement he will look to return to Miami. The Heat should have plenty of money in free agency this summer (around $40 million) to put aside some of it for Wade, but is that the direction they would want to go?
If he returns, Wade’s role would be determined by the other signings. If Miami decides to bring back Dion Waiters as the starting shooting guard, Wade could be asked to come off the bench in a role similar to that of Manu Ginobili’s with the Spurts. If the Heat use a big chunk of their money on a big-time front court player, then Wade could return as a starter playing alongside Goran Dragic.
From Evan Cohen (@EvCoRadio) who you can hear on Sirius XM radio and ESPN West Palm Beach: If Riley knew LBJ was leaving in 2014, would he have traded him in Feb of ’14?
The Heat were the two-time defending champions in February 2014 and attempting to become the first team to win three in a row since the Lakers of 1999-00 to 2001-02 and just the fourth franchise in league history to win at least three consecutive titles.
Pat Riley is driven by winning and giving up the chance to win a third straight title would have been difficult to do, no matter the return. Miami was battling with Indiana for the top seed in the East and eventually finished second to the Pacers but still remained the favorite to come out of the conference.
Besides, in this scenario Riley knows he is losing LeBron, which means he would have had a much different game plan heading into free agency if he knew he was losing his best player. With all of that said, no chance Riley trades LeBron in February of that season. He is going for a third straight title and would the deal with LeBron leaving when it happened.