Dwyane Wade was traded back home to the Miami Heat in a stunning deal ahead of the trade deadline on Thursday. Wade spent the first 13 years of his career in Miami, winning three championships, and becoming the cornerstone of the entire Heat franchise. That all came to an abrupt end in the summer of 2016, when Wade left Miami in free agency for his hometown of Chicago. After two years of stumbling around the league, and even reuniting with LeBron James in Cleveland, Wade is finally headed back home to the Heat.
Before trading Wade back to South Beach, the Cavs talked through the idea with Wade, letting him be the ultimate decision maker on the deal. He chose Miami.
The Cavs also let LeBron know it would be Wade’s decision, and he was OK with it, too. LeBron knows how important it is for his best friend to return back home, as this will surely be a happy ending for everyone involved.
Why did Wade leave Miami in the first place?
During Wade’s free agency that summer, he was looking for a large contract, while the Heat were not ready to commit that kind of money to him. For whatever reason, it resulted in a summer of silence from Pat Riley, and then Wade decided he wanted out. He wanted to play somewhere he felt wanted, and that ended up being in his hometown of Chicago. Wade explained how the relationship with the Heat went so sour to the Miami Herald:
“At the end of the day, I didn’t hear from the guy I needed to. I expressed this to him later. That right there hurt me. It showed me… it was time to remove myself from the situation…. It’s a business. But I’m human as well. I was waiting for him to step up and meet me, call me, do something and it just never happened. That’s not the Pat I know. You can find me quicker than anybody. You want to be wanted. Everyone wants to be wanted. I didn’t feel like I was wanted from the person I wanted to be wanted from…. I was waiting for him to step up and meet me somewhere. Call me. Do something. It just never happened. That’s not Pat. That’s not the Pat I know.”
Wade’s career after Miami has been awkward
Wade was strong enough to walk away at the time, but his journey post-Miami has not gone well. His tenure in Chicago ended after an average season followed by the Bulls trading away Jimmy Butler to Minneapolis. He reached a buyout in the summer of 2017 with the Bulls and then teamed up with this best friend LeBron James to join the Cavaliers. Although, the reunion with LeBron didn’t exactly go as planned either, as the Cavs limped into the trade deadline, desperate to do anything to save the season.
At the deadline, the Cavaliers went through a massive overhaul to try and make the team younger, more equipped for the future, and also able to win now with James still in town. With all of that said, it was thought that Wade’s playing time would be reduced moving forward as a result.
This set up for the perfect reunion for Wade to return home. Now Miami can make amends and fix what should have honestly never happened in the first place. With the Heat in a spot to make the playoffs, but not necessarily ready to battle for a top spot, it will give Wade the freedom to do a victory lap of sorts. Dion Waiters is out for the year due to injury, so this will truly be Wade’s team again, and Miami fans will embrace him as such.
And if we’re being honest, he never looked right in these other jerseys anyway.
This should make for a happy ending for Wade
Wade’s family and friends quickly weighed in on how special it will be for Wade to return home to Miami. Carmelo Anthony learned of Wade returning to Miami after Oklahoma City’s shoot around.
Carmelo Anthony on the Dwyane Wade trade sending him back to Miami: pic.twitter.com/6hKZeKBNo1— Royce Young (@royceyoung) February 8, 2018
“I think he’ll be happy. For me, knowing him and being as close as I am to him, knowing how that situation unfolded in Miami at first, to see that both parties put that to the side. Now he can go back and kinda figure his future out in the place where, ya know, that’s Wade County down there. He can go back home, his family is there. At this point its all about being around his family and being gin a situation where he’s comfortable. And it’s not a foreign situation to him. Thats something that he helped build. He’s won there before, fans love him, thats his city. It’s only right to go back to it.”
LeBron James also shared the sentiment on Instagram.
And finally, Gabrielle Union, Wade’s wife, was pretty happy, too.
305 HOME!!!! Let's goooooooo HEAT!!!! Can't. Wait.— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 8, 2018
It’s easy to be happy for the Heat and for Dwyane Wade for getting this right.