MIAMI – The Heat brought back Dwyane Wade on Thursday so now is the time for another mailbag.
If you were not able to ask a question this time, send them in for future mailbags via Twitter to @tomdangelo44 and @Anthony_Chiang. You can also e-mail me at tdangelo@pbpostcom.
From @Tragik_johns0n: Wade’s final year? Or too early to tell? Will he be starting how does he feel about coming off the bench in Miami?
Let’s take the last question first. Both Pat Riley, during his conference call with local media members, and Wade, during an interview with Tim Reynolds of the Associate Press, addressed that question. Riley said Wade “probably” be coming off the bench but that he is leaving that up to coach Erik Spoelstra. Wade told Reynolds, “don’t matter. I can’t wait to embrace whatever role I have.”
Spoelstra and Wade certainly will talk this over before the coach makes his decision when Wade returns for tonight’s game against the Bucks. If Wade joins Goran Dragic in the starting backcourt, Josh Richardson would move back to the starting small forward. If Wade comes off the bench then Richardson would continue to start at two guard and Justise Winslow likely is the small forward. Either way, Wade probably will play around 25 minutes a game and he will be on the floor during crunch time.
As for the first question. No. I do not believe this is Wade’s final season. He and Udonis Haslem spoke about hoping to play one more year together and figured that would be 2018-19. I see Wade returning and next season likely being the last in his Hall of Fame career.
From @SJZIP1: Will the Heat be checking out the buyout market? If so would they have to release another player?
Yes and yes. Even though the trade deadline has passed, the Heat still will be looking to improve. The March 1 buyout deadline is the next big day on the calendar and several players are expected to become available. Miami has a $5.5 million disabled player exception granted to them because of the Dion Waiters injury that can be used to sign a player. The exception signing would be limited to the rest of the season and would have to be used by March 12.
The Heat’s roster is maxed out after acquiring Luke Babbitt and Wade and trading Okaro White and releasing A.J. Hammons. So Miami would have to release another player if it uses the exception.