Wade, 33, may opt out of his current deal that will net him $16 million next season in search of a bigger payday in free agency.
With their eyes on the free agent market next summer, Pat Riley and the Heat would obviously like for Wade to take less money going forward—something he already did when him, LeBron James and Chris Bosh famously formed a Big Three in South Beach—but that will be a very difficult sell this time around.
Per the Miami Herald:
A Wade associate has told people that Wade would welcome a contract averaging $20 million annually over the next three years. (Note we said welcome, not demand.) If that’s true, it would be understandable, considering the year 13-15 pay ranges for Duncan and Nowitzki. Wade’s agent, Henry Thomas, politely declined to confirm that or anything regarding Wade’s specific financial expectations. […] We’ve heard the Heat would prefer Wade opt in for $16 million next season, then take a very significant pay cut over the following two years.
The Heat would love for Wade to take a reduced salary like two other Hall of Fame-caliber players have: Tim Duncan (who earned $10.4 million this season) and Dirk Nowitzki ($7.9 million). Wade apparently has no interest in making anything close to that low. So is that reasonable on Wade’s part? […] Absolutely. Here’s why: The comparisons between Wade and Duncan and Nowitzki aren’t fair at this point because the Spurs and Mavericks stars didn’t take big cuts until well beyond this point in Wade’s career.
The variable with Wade, of course, is that he missed 28 and 20 games the past two seasons, whereas Duncan and Nowitzki never missed more than seven in any of the four seasons before their 13th. […] The injuries concern the Heat, according to a Heat official, and that’s understandable, too.