Dwyane Wade spent the first 13 seasons of his 14-year NBA career with the Miami Heat, winning three championships as the face of the franchise.
With rumors swirling regarding an impending buyout with the Chicago Bulls, the Heat have emerged as a possible destination for Wade, who would become a free agent in search of a new home.
However, if he returns to South Beach, he won’t be doing so in a major role.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat would consider signing Wade if he becomes available, but only under very specific terms.
"The Heat would be interested in Wade under certain circumstances, including if he agrees to a bench role and if he would be willing to play for Miami's $4.3 million exception,” Jackson reported.
Jackson also reported the Wade is only interested in playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, in Los Angeles or in Miami.
Wade recently told David Aldridge of Turner Sports that talks of a buyout haven’t progressed.
"When the time is right for me and the Chicago Bulls to sit down and talk about the future, we will do that. The time hasn't been right obviously to this point. But I will be in Chicago soon enough and hopefully we get an opportunity to sit down and talk about the future and the direction and go from there. I'm 35 years old. I'm a grown man. I can definitely sit across the room from you and listen to your truth and hopefully hear mine and go from there,” Wade explained.
Wade is set to make $23.8 million in the upcoming season, which makes a trade for the aging veteran nearly impossible at that price point. Nonetheless, he told Aldridge that he wants to make at least one more run at another ring.
"First of all, obviously, everyone wants to compete. It's no secret," he said. "We would all love to compete for a championship at the end of my career. That is one thing I would love to do. I'm not in a position right now to do that, so I can't talk about what that preference is. Hopefully, one day before I'm done playing this game, I can be back in position to compete for a championship. ... I would love to because I feel that I can add something to a team that's in that position.”
The Bulls traded away Jimmy Butler in a stunning draft-day deal and are currently in the midst of a full-on rebuild. Therefore, Wade clearly doesn’t fit into the current or future plans.
Based on the developments above, it seems as though Wade might have to look elsewhere if he wants to step into a starting role following a buyout. If he is set free, his destination will be one of the most talked-about stories in what has been a drama-filled offseason.