EARLIER UPDATE: Could we really see Dwyane Wade in a Nuggets jersey next season? There’s a possibility in light of Marc Stein’s latest NBA free agency tidbit he tweeted Tuesday evening.
Wade is currently at an impasse with the Miami Heat, the only team he’s ever played for in 13 seasons. The Heat have reportedly offered Wade a two-year deal worth $40 million. But Wade, who has accepted pay cuts in recent years with the team, wants more. To offer a richer deal, Miami would have to trade somebody currently on its roster.
It’s possible Denver just made Wade an offer he can’t refuse.
The fit would be a little odd for a couple reasons. Wade is 34 years old, while the Nuggets are one of the youngest teams in the NBA. The Nuggets seem like they’re a season or two away from being a playoff team. Plus, Denver already has plenty of young players competing for minutes at shooting guard, including Will Barton, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley. It’s possible the addition of Wade could stunt some of those younger players’ growth.
Still, there’s no doubt that signing Wade could drum up some excitement among the fan base. Denver finished dead-last in attendance last season. Bringing Wade into the fold could put some butts in the seats.
ORIGINAL POST: NBA free agency is winding down, as nearly all of the big names are off the board.
Andre Drummond, Mike Conley, Al Horford, DeMar DeRozan, Hassan Whiteside and others all have new deals and are presumably now diving into piles of money like Scrooge McDuck. Then Monday there was Kevin Durant’s shocking decision to spurn the Oklahoma City Thunder, the only team he’s played for in his nine-year career, and sign with the rival Golden State Warriors.
Only two headliners have yet to come to terms on a new deal: LeBron James, who is almost assuredly returning to Cleveland, and his good buddy Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Sunday that the Nuggets were pursuing Wade. It seemed like a pipe dream when the news broke. Would the 34-year-old Wade really leave Miami to join a Nuggets’ roster that is still a few years away from competing? But two days later, it seems that Denver is still lurking around.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported Tuesday that the Nuggets, along with the Chicago Bulls, are still in talks with Wade. The All-Star shooting wants a two-year deal worth $50 million. So far, the Heat have only offered him $40 million over two years.
So the big game of chicken continues. The Heat will have to trade somebody if they want to up their offer to $50 million. If they refuse to do so, would Wade really leave the only organization he’s ever played for for an extra $10 million in Denver or Chicago?
Also worth noting: Wade would be somewhat of an odd fit in Denver. The Nuggets are among the youngest teams in the NBA. Wade will turn 35 in January and is clearly on the back nine of his career. The Nuggets need a season or two for their core to develop into something capable of competing in the playoffs.
The timetables don’t seem to match up between Wade and Denver, but crazier things have happened. We already got one M. Night Shyamalan-level twist Monday with Durant. Could one more be in store with Wade?