UPDATE [July 13]: Wade's deal starts at a reported $15 million for the 2014-15 season, and moves up to $16.125 million in 2015-16 according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. His deal allowed the Heat to sign Luol Deng in place of LeBron James.
Official numbers on Dwyane Wade contract: $15M this season, $16.125 next season, sources told ESPN.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 16, 2014
Dwyane Wade will return to the Miami Heat after finalizing an agreement to stay in South Beach, according to multiple reports. The Heat moved quickly to re-sign Wade, along with Chris Bosh, following LeBron James' decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The final numbers on Wade's contract aren't out yet, but it will reportedly be a two-year deal with a player option for the second season.
While the organization has yet to officially confirm the signing, Wade posted a photo to his Instagram account with the heading, "Home Is Where The Heart Is... My Home,My City,My House..#HeatLifer":
Wade returns after opting out of the remaining two years and $41 million on his contract, a surprise given his massive struggles in the Finals this year and his inability to play more than 58 games during the regular season. Many assumed that he opted out knowing James was coming too. Instead, James left for Cleveland and Wade, despite briefly flirting with his hometown Bulls, returns to Miami.
It's not clear how much the three-time champion and 2006 Finals MVP has left. First, the obvious: A refreshed Wade can bring a shot in the arm with playmaking considering his ability to break down defenses with the drive. Leadership-wise, he's a commodity.
That being said, knee issues, and bumps and bruises have caught up to the 10-time All-Star. During the Heat's run over the last four years, he has added an entire season's worth of wear just in the number of playoff games in which he's participated. Even though Heat coach Erik Spoelstra pulled back the reins on Wade in 2013-14 by limiting his aging guard to 54 regular-season games, it wasn't enough to see Wade finish a run to the NBA Finals without outside concerns about his health.
Wade played three strong playoff series before petering out against the San Antonio Spurs. He shot 43.8 percent in the 4-1 Spurs series victory after connecting on around 49 percent or better against the Bobcats, Nets and Pacers. Perhaps more notable than his offensive efficiency is his defense, which has gone from All-NBA caliber at times throughout his career to a liability.
Nevertheless, he's a legend in Miami, and Pat Riley needed to keep him if just for that. With Bosh also around, it doesn't sound like Riley is interested in rebuilding. Thus, Wade is back and should finish his career in South Beach.