Wade staying with Miami Heat

(Reuters) – Dwyane Wade is staying on with the Miami Heat as the face of the franchise after agreeing a new contract while the NBA team picks up the pieces following the loss of free agent LeBron James last week.

“Home Is Where The Heart Is… My Home, My City, My House..#HeatLifer,” Wade posted on Instagram in a social media teaser before the Heat finally made it official.

“Dwyane has been the franchise cornerstone for this team since the day he arrived 11 years ago,” Heat president Pat Riley said.

“He has shown his commitment to the Heat many times over the course of his career and has always been willing to sacrifice in order to help build this team into a champion. This time is no different.

“I am ecstatic to have him back in the fold and I am confident that Dwyane, as always, will be leading this team as we look to contend for NBA championships.”

While details of the multi-year deal were not made public, the All-Star guard will make at least $15 million per season, ESPN reported.

The development was not unexpected as Miami’s front office strives to reconstruct a team that made four successive trips to the NBA Finals and won two titles before James’s decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers following four seasons with the Heat.

Wade was part of the so-called ‘Big Three’ with James and forward Chris Bosh, who also has re-signed a massive deal to stay in Miami.

The Heat have also added free agent forward Luol Deng as part of their rebuilding since James’s departure. Free agents Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger were brought in before the exit of four-time league MVP James.

 

Wade, 32, has played his entire career in Miami since being drafted in 2003, winning three NBA titles and averaging more than 24 points per game during the regular season.

 

Last season he was hampered by a knee issue and missed 28 games in a move designed to keep him healthy for the playoffs.

 

Wade still managed to average 19 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds in the 2013-14 campaign.

 

The Heat went on to win the Eastern Conference title before falling decisively in five games to the San Antonio Spurs in the championship series.

 

Wade had invoked an early termination option after four years of a six-year deal worth $108 million, opting for free agency to free up money for the team as it sought to improve the roster and keep James.

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