Miami Heat

How did Heat players react to Dwyane Wade’s decision? Plus, a look at money involved

Dwyane Wade decides to return to the Miami Heat for “one last dance.”

In a video published to Youtube, Dwyane Wade says he decided to return to the Miami Heat for "one last dance."
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In a video published to Youtube, Dwyane Wade says he decided to return to the Miami Heat for "one last dance."

Not long after Dwyane Wade posted a video to his Twitter account on Sunday night to announce his decision to return to the Heat for “one last dance,” his teammates jumped on social media to announce their reaction to the news.

One word sums up it up: Excitement.

“One last dance with my bro [Dwyane Wade]!” Heat center Hassan Whiteside posted on Instagram. “He is a great leader and hard worker! I’ve learned so much from him in the past few years. Excited to be playing with him for his last year!”

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Dion Waiters, who is expected to start ahead of Wade at shooting guard, has been open in the past about his desire play with Wade. He will get his chance this year after season-ending ankle surgery in January prevented it from happening when Wade was traded back to Miami in February.

“Can’t wait my guy!!!” Waiters posted on Instagram. “Can’t wait to play alongside of you!!! I can scratch that off the bucket list!!! [Dwyane Wade] one last ride let’s make it special big bro!!”

The list of Heat players who also used social media to welcome Wade back for another season includes Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson and Briante Weber.

The Heat — as an organization — has yet to comment on the news because Wade has not officially signed his contract, but the team’s Twitter account did post a photo Monday afternoon of Wade standing on the AmericanAirlines Arena scorer’s table with the message, “Always your house.” Once Wade makes the deal official with his signature, the team’s social media accounts are sure to be filled with more photos and videos of Wade to celebrate his decision to return for one final season.

Wade is expected to take the $2.4 million veteran’s minimum, which puts the Heat about $6.3 million above the luxury tax threshold, instead of signing for the $5.3 million taxpayer midlevel exception. This move saves the Heat some money, about $10 million between the luxury tax and Wade’s salary based on how Miami’s roster is presently constructed.

With Wade signing for the minimum (only $1.5 million of the $2.4 million minimum deal counts against the tax), the Heat’s luxury tax bill will stand at about $9.7 million, according to NBA salary-cap expert Albert Nahmad from the Heat Hoops blog. That’s a bit different than the estimated $16.3 million tax bill Miami would face if Wade took the $5.3 million exception.

This financial sacrifice is nothing new for Wade, who has left money on the table before for the betterment of the team. Wade will end his 16-year career with the final on-court earnings of $199.3 million, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, compared to the estimated $227 million Carmelo Anthony has earned over the first 15 seasons of his NBA career.

“When I believe in something, I go 110 percent into it. That’s what I did,” Wade said in his video Sunday. “I gave my body up. I gave my county up. I gave my money up. I gave everything up to get to that dream, that goal I always wanted to get to. And that’s the feeling of being a champion.”

Wade’s decision also received social media praise from NBA players not on his team.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker tweeted: “Must watch video. Appreciate everything you’ve done for this game bro. It’s been a pleasure following your career. Need a signed pair [of sneakers] in last game we play.”

Even Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler, who is reportedly meeting with Minnesota’s front office this week to discuss his future with the organization, commented on his former Bulls teammate’s decision.

“This is gonna be one helluva dance [Dwyane Wade],” Butler posted on Instagram.

That “last dance” begins next week when the Heat host its annual media day on Monday before opening training camp on Sept. 25.

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