LAS VEGAS – Tom Crean, one of Dwyane Wade’s confidants and his former coach at Marquette, has told his former player he hopes he returns to the Miami Heat.
And while Crean isn’t sure if Wade will retire or return for a 16th season, there is one thing he is sure about.
“I think there’s still plenty left in the tank for him, no doubt in my mind,” Crean said today from the Las Vegas summer league.
The option comes from spending time with Wade before training camp last season and watching him play for Cleveland and then the Heat, who reacquired Wade on Feb. 8.
“I saw him last summer and I thought going into training camp he was ahead of where he was going back to the year LeBron (James) left,” Crean said. James left the Heat in the summer of 2014.
“I thought he was at that point. He works on his game, he works constantly on it, he gets better, his energy is high, he’s done such a great job of training. I think he looks really good.”
Although Wade has not announced whether he is returning, his social media accounts are full of posts of him working out this summer.
Wade embraced his role coming off the bench last season. He averaged 12.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 21 games before being one of the Heat’s better players in the postseason. Wade was Miami’s second leading scorer at 16.6 points per game in their five-game series loss to the Sixers.
“I think Dwyane is capable of so many different roles that he’s always going to put the winning role first,” Crean said. “If there was any doubt (if he’d come off the bench) there was absolutely zero doubt once he went back to Miami and did that.
“He’s always been about winning and you go back into that environment with a young team and you’re doing what is needed for the team to win and make the playoffs, that shows you’re about winning more than anything else. He loves the Heat but he loves winning more than anything else.”
As far as Wade’s decision, Crean said: “I think he’ll make his decision based on the different circumstances that come with it. I, for one, hope that he’s going to continue to play. He knows that but I don’t have a vote. I just have an opinion.”