Dwyane Wade will reportedly meet with teams interested in his services the rest of this week as he tries to gain leverage in his contract impasse with the Heat. The Nuggets are reportedly bidding more than $50 million over two years for the three-time NBA champion. The Heat want him to settle for $40 million. He reportedly wants $70 million over three, with the third year guaranteed
This matters to the Nets because on Thursday they are likely to sign 24-year-old Tyler Johnson, Wade's back-up, to a four-year $50 million deal, backloaded with $18.9 million in the third year and $19.6 million in the fourth. The Heat can, if they want, match the Nets offer and Johnson would return to South Beach.
No one knows if the Heat would match with or without Wade, but the prospect of losing Johnson on top of losing Luol Deng and Joe Johnson for nothing can't be appealing to Pat Riley and Mickey Arison. But if they concede the battle and give Wade the third year, it's highly, highly unlikely they would or even could match on Johnson. Wade is expected to meet with Arison Wednesday in New York.
Here's the rationale. Miami is already locked into deals worth $70.3 million for the 2018-19 season, Johnson's third year when he will make $18.9 million. Chris Bosh is on the books for $26.8 million, the newly signed Hassan Whiteside for $25.4 million; and Goran Dragic for $18.1 million. Adding Wade to that mix at $25 million would mean Riley would be committing something $95 million to four players, only one of whom --Whiteside-- would be under 30. Wade will be 37 when the 2018-19 season begins, Bosh 34 and Dragic 32. The Nets tried that in 2013-14. How'd that work out?
Further complicating matters is Bosh's health and how much would the Heat have to pay him if he retires early. Bosh isn't off the books until 2019-20, but if he retires after next February, the first anniversary of his latest blood clot incident, his contract comes off the books then (but he continues to get paid).
Even without a third year for Wade, Miami will also have to deal with another issue if they match on Johnson. In 2019-20, Whiteside would make $27 million, Johnson $19.6 million and Dragic, then 33, $19.2 million AND Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson will be off their rookie deals and no doubt be looking for big money. It's why more than one pundit thinks the Heat won't match.
Wade, of course, thinks his protege is gone already.
Any kid that wants to be an NBA player & you don't think you have a chance. Look no further then @RealTJohnson Congrts kid you earned it!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 3, 2016
Meanwhile, on the Allen Crabbe front, a league source told The Post that Brooklyn hadn’t yet agreed to any deal as of Tuesday morning. The Blazers are likely to match on even a $70 million, four year deal, and so the Nets have to consider whether to tie up their last bit of cap space on an unlikely possibility.