Dwyane Wade is still pondering his next career move, but he has ruled out at least one possibility.
Wade will not play in China next year and is determined to continue playing in the NBA, if he elects not to retire, the 12-time All-Star told Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.
Reports earlier this summer disclosed Wade had a three-year contract offer worth upwards of $25 million to play for the Zhejang Golden Bulls of the CBA overseas.
"Heat only," Wade told Navarro. "If I play the game of basketball this year it will be in a Miami uniform. If I don’t I’ll be living in Miami or somewhere else probably.”
Wade was traded back to the Heat at the trade deadline last year by the Cleveland Cavaliers for a protected 2024 second-round draft pick. The Cavaliers, who were struggling mightily at the time, elected to overhaul their roster in an attempt to get back on track. Dealing Wade back to Miami, where he previously had won three championships, was a classy gesture to the veteran guard.
The Heat front office had been hoping for a mid-August decision on whether or not Wade would be returning to the team, but he's still noncommittal.
"When the decision needs to be made it will be made," Wade said. "It’s different now. It’s not like we’re sitting down trying to figure out a $100-million contract and I need to sign it by July 8th. So we have time.”
The NBA Finals 2006 MVP settled into a bench role last year, but showed flashes of brilliance again after being dealt back to Miami. His leadership helped the Heat nail down a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but he couldn't lift the squad over the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening round, despite averaging 16.6 points per game in the series.
The 36-year-old proved he can still contribute at a high level with his playoff scoring outburst, but many wonder if he can remain healthy moving forward.
"No matter what happens, you guys know me, I'm Miami Heat for life," Wade said. "I'll always be there to make sure that organization continues to make strides whether I'm on the court or off the court."
Wade, selected with the fifth pick in the 2003 draft by the Heat out of Marquette University, is Miami's all-time franchise leader in many statistical categories, including games played (876), points (20,473), steals (1,433) and assists (5,009).
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