Let's recap the Heat's situation with Dwyane Wade up to yesterday, shall we?
Wade's contract expires in 2010, when he'll be eligible to re-up for 6 years and $120 million, or head into free agency for less. He'll get an early extension offer Sunday, but has repeatedly said he's likely to wait to see how the Heat build a championship-caliber roster around him before signing -- if at all. Pat Riley has indicated he is not able to do that until after next season; Miami is in luxury-tax territory now, but next summer will have access to about $40 million that would secure Wade, pay for another maximum-salary free agent, and add a middling contributor. But Wade doesn't want to waste another year, killing time in his prime until the Heat can move forward.
Monday, Wade spoke about the situation, and the entire city's in a tizzy. What's the situation? Er, see above.
Nothing's changed, so please wake us when this is over. Both positions (Riley can't jeopardize the Heat's future and tie up its funds with a supporting cast only to see his star set sail away, Wade doesn't want to commit to a sinking ship) are understandable, and both sides are going to have to be patient beyond the possible cashing in of a mid-level or veteran's exception for a one-year free agent contract.
To be fair, Wade did sound vaguely threatening as he reported that he'd like to compete for championships, and he'll stick around if that were to happen sooner or later.
"I'm all about winning," he said. "I want to make sure we're putting ourselves in position to not just win games, to not just get in the first round, but to compete for a championship. And if it's not happening this year, then [signing early] is pointless...I'm concerned from the standpoint of, I don't want to be fighting for eighth place or seventh place, coming off last year, where we fought for fourth."
"If other teams have made moves that are going to be productive for them and we haven't made any, then we might be stuck....I would like us to make some kind of move."
But he also sounded measured.
"On paper, so many teams have passed us, but it's on paper, so you don't know yet.'' He also said it would be a "big leap" to say he has ruled out signing an extension now. "I'm here. I love to be here and everyone around the league knows this is where I want to be. Why would I want to leave Miami?"
"I'm going to listen to what they have to say and I'm going to think about it,'' Wade told The Associated Press. "But right now, the way I feel, I want to make sure that we're on track to where I want us to be on track to before I sign back.''
Sounds like a league scoring champion hoping to spur his team into early action -- just like last month. It just speaks to how badly Miami wants Wade to stay that repeating himself sends South Florida sports fans into seizures of worry.
Move along, nothing to see here. Yet.