Add Dan Le Batard to the list of people excited to see Dwyane Wade’s return to Miami.
The news that the Heat acquired Wade from the Cleveland Cavaliers for a highly protected second-round draft pick came out Thursday shortly after Le Batard’s radio show, which focused heavily on the NBA trade deadline, came to an end.
But speaking on his daily ESPN show “Highly Questionable,” Le Batard said the move made sense from both a feel-good standpoint and from the basketball perspective.
“This was actually a really good move by Miami all around,” he said. “Dwyane Wade gets to come back to the place that he never really wanted to leave and they’ve got him cheap on top off that. Pat Riley wins again in that transaction because they need somebody actually at the end of games who can create a shot. It’s been a fault in their entire system this season.”
Wade’s history and relationship with the Heat is well-known.
For a quick refresher, the Heat drafted Wade with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He then spent his first 13 seasons with the team, winning three NBA championships and being named an All-Star in each of his final 12 seasons with the team. In that span, Wade became the face of the franchise and set team records in a plethora of categories, including total games played (855), points scored (20,221), steals (1,414) and assists (4,944) among others. Wade left Miami after the 2016 season and spent the 2016-17 season with the Chicago Bulls before the first part of this season with Cleveland.
Now, he’s back home and has the opportunity to help the Heat make a playoff run. After a five-game skid, the Heat is now 29-26 overall and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference heading into Friday’s home game against the Bucks. The Cavaliers, at 31-22, are in third place and three games above the Heat.
“I do think it’s a great move,” ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez said on the show. “As good as the Heat has been with this group, they still need somebody to give the ball to late in games. They don’t really have that option right now. Goran Dragic isn’t great there. Josh Richardson isn’t great there. Hassan Whiteside certainly isn’t great there. And now you’ve got that guy that they’re all familiar with and they respect. It’s a good move. It’s also super intriguing if they could possibly catch the Cavs as the Cavs try to adjust with this new roster.”