Ignorance in the NBA


Dwyane Wade
If Wade wants LeBron to stick around, he must take a pay-cut.

A lot of things make me mad. Ignorance is one of them. Yes, everyone (including me) has been ignorant at one time or another during our lives, but when it comes to making millions of dollars, it’s stupid.

From reading a variety of articles over the past few days, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade won’t take a pay-cut when his contract expires next month on July 1st. He still thinks he is a “max contract” player. What he doesn’t know is that he is far from a “max contract” player.

Wade has spent his NBA career with the Heat. He brought the franchise its first NBA championship. And then had a helping-hand in the last two. Wade may only be 32-years-old, but his upcoming contract will be his fourth in his career, something very few players ever get to. Some are lucky enough to get two. According to Basketball Reference.com, Wade has made over $121 million dollars just playing basketball. Not to mention he has endorsements, his own clothing line, and doesn’t have to pay state income tax in the state of Florida. Yet, he wants a max contract from the Heat organization. He, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh have an “opt-in” or “opt-out” clause for the upcoming season. If one, two, or all three choose to opt-in, they will be under contract with Miami for the next season at a salary that was previously established in 2010. However, if one, two or all three choose to opt-out, they will become free agents and are free to sign with the team of their choice, provided that team has enough salary cap space.

Wade still wants to be the “star” of the Heat, despite losing that title to James over the past four seasons. He missed 28 games this season, roughly 1/3 of the season, putting more strain on James and the rest of the Heat team to carry the load. I’m sure James doesn’t want to go through that again. Not that it matters, but Wade missed 33 games during the 2011-2012 season. The sole fact that Wade has missed or been held out of games, just so Miami has a better chance to win a title, isn’t fair to their best player (James) or the rest of the team and former players who played for the organization. If Wade chooses to hold Miami “hostage” by demanding max player-type money, (which is between $15-20 million dollars per year), then I think Miami should let him walk away. They (the organization) would be insane to pay him that kind of money. He might only be 32, but his knees are 37. That’s why I don’t understand why the Los Angeles Lakers gave Kobe Bryant $24 million dollars a year for the next two seasons. Dude, you’re not in your prime, and you’re hurting your team by taking all that money because the NBA operates on a salary-cap. Teams can only go over the cap to sign players that are their own, not free agents.

It just blows my mind why some players wouldn’t take half so their team could sign another quality player. The reason most of the Heat’s role players are good is because of LeBron, not Wade.

This season, Wade had a usage-rate of 27.9 but an offensive rating of 110, ranking him (23rd and 122nd, respectively, in the league). In comparison, James Harden had a usage-rate of 27.8 and an offensive rating of 120, which ranks him 25th and 21st, respectively. Harden is a max-contract player. Wade averaged the lowest minutes-per-game played in his entire career (32.9), rebounds per-game were the lowest since 2007-2008, steals per-game were the lowest since 2010-2011 (1.5) and points per-game were the lowest since his rookie season (19). Even his Player Efficiency Rating (22) was the lowest it’s been 2007-2008. His offensive rating has dropped since 2010-2011 and his defensive rating has risen the past two seasons (Note: Offensive rating should be high, defensive rating should be low). His Win Shares, which is an estimated number of wins that player contributes to his team, was 5.5 this season. The last time it was lower than that was in 2007-2008.

Wade isn’t the same player he used to be, and it’s pretty clear. Instead of taking up a huge part of the salary cap, he should take a bit less, especially if he plans to try to win another title because I don’t think they will win it this season.

Team President Pat Riley will have a lot on his plate this summer.

Personally, I think this will be the end of the Miami Heat as we know them.

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