Report: Dwayne Wade set to explore his options away from Miami

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Free agency is a hectic period in the NBA calendar where players tend to have a ton of options as franchises bid to find that marquee star, or they try and build out their roster with complimenting pieces and deep role-players.

While a franchise's first target might be Kevin Durant at the small forward position, it can quickly become someone like Luol Deng is that pursuit turns sour.

But, as with most free agency windows, there are always players who may well opt-out of their contracts, but they never have any intention of actually leaving.

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LeBron James, for instance, will opt-out this year in the name of simply getting a better payday from Cleveland. With the spike in television revenue set to increase the salary cap to $94 million, for the next couple of seasons, it's in the players interests to seek shorter-term, renegotiable deals.

There are also veterans who look to grab another one-year deal and keep the proverbial party going. Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan have all been players of that mould in the past few years. The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade is the latest player to fall into that category and he has spent 13 years with the Heat, winning three championships along the way

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Wade isn't the lock to return to South Beach that many people had thought. His report reads:

"Dwyane Wade's initial contract discussions with the Miami Heat have not produced a common ground between the parties, and he is preparing to field outside offers when free agency opens Friday, according to league sources.

"Sources told that Wade's representatives have made it known to multiple teams over the last several days that he will be on the market. Some teams have been skeptical, wondering if Wade would seriously consider leaving the franchise where he has played 13 seasons and won three titles."

Wade, now 34-years-old, said at the end of his $20 million one-year deal that he hoped everything would work out for him to return to the American Airlines Arena.

"I hope that everything is quiet and works out the way I want it to," Wade said. "But I have no control over that, as much as people might think. It's a lot of moving parts in free agency. I'm not worried about it."

The Heat currently have around $40 million in cap space and have nine free agents, but they are also one of six teams to have secured a meeting with Kevin Durant.

Following in LeBron James' footsteps will likely appeal to KD, but, if Wade was to leave, all of a sudden the Heat might not have that championship appeal that the Thunder man craves.

Chris Bosh is also questionable after another season ending injury at the All-Star break and general manager Pat Riley has already said that retaining center Hassan Whiteside - who is now destined for max-contract money - is his very top priority.

The fact is, Miami can't have them all. But, Wade's future will likely only be dealt with after Durant and Whiteside make their decisions.

Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Dwyane Wade
Chris Bosh
Hassan Whiteside
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference

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