Miami Heat superstar guard Dwyane Wade has until Monday at midnight to opt in to the final year of his deal, and team president Pat Riley says he’s not “pessimistic” about finding a way to retain his franchise player.
Riley, speaking Thursday prior to the NBA Draft (during which Miami selected Justise Winslow), said he wants both Wade and Luol Deng back next season.
Wade, 33, is looking for a major pay raise this summer, something the Heat may not be able to accommodate.
Per the Sun-Sentinel:
“We respect him,” Riley said. “We want him back for the rest of his career. That’s obvious.”
“I’m not a pessimist when it comes to that. We have a lot to offer,” he said. “We know on July 1st, we’ll be the first ones that he gets to talk to, and we’ve go from there.” […] “He’s been here 12 years,” Riley said. “We have cordial conversations with him. We talk to his agent about other players. There haven’t been any real discussions about anything because they can’t take place until 12:01 on July 1.”
“Whatever I think today is really irrelevant,” he said. “I want all of them to come back. I would really like to make a deal with all of these players and keep the team that we built last year together, and we’ll find that out on July 1, and then we’ll have eight or nine days to deal with it. Before that, it really is all speculation.” […] “When a player has an opportunity to be a free agent, you give him the space and the time to think about that,” he said. “We love Dwyane. He’s probably alongside Alonzo [Mourning, as a Heat all-time legend]. Dwyane is a pillar. He’s been part of the root structure and the foundation of this franchise for the past 12 years.”