MIAMI — Life comes at you fast.
Just four years ago, the Heat were celebrating an NBA championship with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh on the roster. Now, it looks like Dwyane will join LeBron in Cleveland and Chris is currently out of the league.
How did all of this happen and why? We answer that question and more in the latest installment of the Heat mailbag.
@Aj3th: If I were to tell you in July of 2013, a month after Miami had won back-to-back championships, that in 2017 Dwyane Wade and LeBron James would be playing together in Cleveland, what do you think your reaction would have been? How did this happen?
Anthony Chiang: The NBA moves fast, so don’t blink. Just four years ago, the Heat won an NBA championship with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Now, Dwyane and LeBron are reuniting in Cleveland, and Chris was waived by the Heat this summer after a long bout with blood clots that began in 2015. How did all of this happen? Well, LeBron returned home to play with the talented young duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in 2014. Chris’ blood clots derailed his Heat career, forcing Miami to release him this summer. As for Dwyane, it’s a little harder to explain his story since that 2013 championship. After spending the first 13 seasons of his NBA career with the Heat, free-agent contract negotiations between Dwyane and Miami broke down and he left to sign a two-year, $47 million deal with the Bulls last summer. But Dwyane’s time in Chicago lasted just one season. With Chicago now in full rebuild mode, Dwyane and the Bulls reached an agreement on a buyout Sunday to allow him to become a free agent once again. Well, the 35-year-old has reportedly picked the Cavaliers as his next team over the Heat and Thunder. Why? Because Cleveland has the best shot at reaching the NBA Finals of the three teams he considered in an underwhelming Eastern Conference. Because Dwyane will have a shot to start and play big minutes in Cleveland, a role he probably wouldn’t have had in Miami with Dion Waiters pretty much locked in as the Heat’s starting shooting guard and Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington right behind him on the depth chart. And because Wade will have the opportunity to play with LeBron again and repay him for coming to Miami for their memorable four-year run with the Heat. Dwyane’s decision to join the Cavaliers might be hard for Heat fans to figure out right now. But remove your emotions from the entire situation (I know it’s hard) and think about these three factors that led him to Cleveland. Dwyane’s decision to team up with LeBron makes sense. A lot of sense.
@jzlegit13: Do you have a Dion Waiters ankle update?
Anthony Chiang: The main thing to know is that Dion feels healthy enough to practice and coach Erik Spoelstra said Tuesday that “his speed is where it was when he was at his quickest last year if not better right now.” That’s the good news. The bad news is that his left ankle is still swollen and causing him some discomfort despite spraining it six months ago in March. That’s somewhat alarming, especially since Dion said minor surgery was an option to repair the ankle, but he decided against it. For now, Dion said he’ll go through extensive treatment before practices and games to treat it. But the fact that this is still an issue with a full 82-game schedule ahead, it’s worrisome. The Heat have to hope the ankle gets better and not worse as the season goes on.