That might have sat just fine with him when he was making less than Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal and buddies Chris Bosh and LeBron James. But now that the Heat—who recently offered Wade a two-year, $40 million contract—won't pay him more than up-and-comer Hassan Whiteside, the three-time champion is threatening to walk.
One potential landing spot? The reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Finances aside, the timing makes some sense. Wade and Chris Paul have been vacationing with James, who has likely been basking in the glory of his third championship.
A video posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on
And a series of ominous texts seems to suggest James, Wade, and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert have recently taken a private jet flight together.
— Joe Lull (@LullOnSports) July 5, 2016
— Luxury Jets Group (@LuxJetGroup) July 5, 2016
— NBA Champion Chopz (@Pchopz_) July 5, 2016
Then this morning, Huffington Post columnist Jordan Schultz reported that Wade and the Cavs are in "preliminary talks."
League source: Dwyane Wade in preliminary talks with #Cavs to reunite with Lebron. Talks still early.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 5, 2016
Of course, it'd be a bit of a stretch to see Wade end up on the Cavs. Right now, the Cavs could only offer Wade the mini mid-level exception, which is only $3.5 million. Another route would be moving the contracts of Kevin Love or Iman Shumpert, but even that won't get Cleveland close to the Heat's $20 million-per-year offer. Additionally, as great of a player as Wade is, he doesn't fill any of their team needs (wing defense, three-point shooting), and provides only what they already have in James, Kyrie Irving, and Love (shot creation, play-making).
In reality, it seems that Wade is using the influence of his pal LeBron to make the Heat up their offer.