Dwyane Wade could set free agent meetings with the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks early next week if his situation with the Miami Heat is still in a holding pattern, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst. Wade wants to be compensated for taking pay cuts on three straight contracts, and Miami's initial offer of $10 million angered him, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski reports that the Mavericks, the Bulls and the Nuggets are also courting Wade, with some multi-year contracts offers being offered upwards of $20 million per season. The Nuggets and Bulls have been among the "most aggressive pursuers."
Of course, Wade's free agent meetings being set for next week will conveniently happen right around the time Kevin Durant makes his decision. After agreeing to a four-year, $98 million deal with Hassan Whiteside on Friday morning, Miami wants to see what Durant decides before proceeding with Wade. The Heat are one of the six teams who have or will meet with Durant in the opening days of July, and Durant will reportedly make his decision by July 4.
If Durant picks Miami -- an unlikely move, as Oklahoma City is heavily favored to retain their star -- then the Heat would face a challenging situation with Wade. There are a few desperate moves they could make to shed salary in an effort to keep all three of Whiteside, Wade and Durant, but the more likely scenario is they'd have to wish Wade farewell completely or ask him to take another big pay cut.
As long as Durant's free agency goes as expected and he stays in Oklahoma City, though, it seems obvious Wade will still return to Miami. The Heat would be able to go well over the cap to keep him.
This is the second straight year Wade has threatened to leave, and last year he ended back up with the Heat after a brief, peaceful showdown. If Wade actually progresses to meetings with other teams, the odds are highest that Wade is only using them as posturing to assure Miami pays him the money he thinks he deserves after sacrificing for the franchise over the years.
Wade has only played for the Heat during his 13 years in the NBA. This might be as close as we'll ever get to seeing him on another team, and it's still really not all that likely. But you never know. Maybe Wade has finally reached his breaking point.
Rajon Rondo met the Bulls in Chicago
There's no consensus on how much Rondo is actually worth as a free agent. He redeemed much of his value with the Kings last season after a disastrous run with the Mavericks for half of the 2014-15 season, but there are still major worries about his fit in a modern NBA offense and his ability to handle hands-on coaching.
It shows with Rondo's initial reported meetings: the Bulls on Friday in Chicago, plus interest from the Knicks and the Nets. Marc J. Spears reported that Rondo is "keeping an open mind" about returning to the Kings, but it's notable that the report doesn't indicate anything about Sacramento having interest back in him.
Rondo will sign somewhere, of course, and with the money that is going around, there's a good chance he gets a better contract than the one-year, $8 million deal he signed last year. But an apparent lack of interest from the top half of the league, particularly in a free agent class light on point guards, shows what his actual value is in free agency.
"The toughest decision of my life"
Chandler Parsons chose the Memphis Grizzlies in free agency on Friday after Dallas made no effort to retain him, but he was heavily pursued by the Portland Trail Blazers as well. In a text to ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon, Parsons explained his Grizzlies decision like this:
"I really believed in Coach Fiz. Nobody in the league has coached better wings than him. I trust [assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff] with my life. They have nobody like me, and their veteran, experienced players are a perfect fit with me."
As for the decision between the Grizzlies and the Trail Blazers, Parsons described it as "the toughest decision of my life," calling Portland incredible. Parsons turns 28 this season, putting him right in the sweet spot between wanting to win now like Memphis provided, and joining a young team with a bright future (and who was still the No. 5 seed last season, mind you) in Portland. But the Grizzlies, and a video call from Memphis minority owner Justin Timberlake, eventually won Parsons over.