Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade declined to answer directly Sunday when asked on ESPN on ABC’s NBA Finals pregame show if he plans to leave the Heat.
But by saying that he would “worry” about his future in July, Wade implied that he would exercise an opt-out clause in his contract by a late June deadline and become an unrestricted free agent this summer instead of opting in for $16.1 million in the final season of his contract.
Wade’s associates and the Heat are aware that he prefers to opt out of his contract and sign a new three-year deal, sources said. Though he ideally prefers to remain with the Heat, there remains a substantial gap between what Wade wants and what the Heat wants to pay him, and he is willing to consider other teams, multiple associates have said.
Appearing as a guest analyst on ABC’s coverage, Wade was asked by Jalen Rose if he’s leaving Miami. “It feels like Miami up here; it’s hot up here,” Wade responded.
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When host Sage Steele noted Wade can leave Miami and asked how close he is to a decision, Wade said: “It’s summer time. With summer time and free agency, it’s going to be a lot of talk. Right now, I’m glad that the Finals is on, that we’re here. We’ll worry about that in July. Right now, we’re going to focus on these Finals. This is our biggest showcase.”