Miami Heat legends Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem are yet to decide on their NBA futures but the franchise is hoping to convince them to continue playing for one more year.
There may have been a real lack of activity by the Heat this offseason but bringing back the two fan favourites is high on their list of priorities.
The duo have been contemplating retirement this summer after both completing 15 seasons in the league.
Wade has already stated that if he does decide to prolong his career, he will not consider playing for any other team.
“Heat only. If I play the game of basketball this year it will be in a Miami uniform,” he said, per Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.
“If I don’t I’ll be living in Miami or somewhere else probably.”
Speaking about the two players recently, Heat president Pat Riley confirmed that he expects to have the pair re-signed.
“I think we’ll get them done,” he said, according to The Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds.
At 36, Wade clearly isn’t the player he once was but he’s still capable of contributing and being an effective scorer off the bench.
With a young roster, his experience and leadership will also be invaluable to the team.
Haslem is unlikely to get many minutes as he only played 14 games last year and averaged just five minutes per game.
The 38-year-old’s primary role will be to mentor the young core and be a key figure in the locker room where he will likely serve as a de facto player-coach.
The Miami native has spent his entire NBA career with his hometown team and Riley wants to reward him for his loyalty by bringing him back for a farewell campaign.
“I feel good that he’s back,” he said, according to Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.
Both Wade and Haslem entered the league together in 2003 when the Flordia-based outfit drafted the former with the number five pick and the latter as an undrafted free agent.
D.Wade is the record appearance holder for the organisation with 876 and UD follows him in second at 844 games played.
In 13 and a half seasons together as teammates, they’ve won three championships and have developed a close friendship.
With next season almost certain to be their last, fans in South Beach would love to give their two franchise greats a proper send-off.
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