(Reuters) Is Dwyane Wade already in the middle of his final NBA season? He could be.
Wade, 36, told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald recently that he is genuinely undecided about continuing his career for the first time since he entered the NBA in 2003.
“I don’t know,” Wade said, per Jackson. “I have told everybody around me that I am taking it after this season and go from there. It’s the first year I’ve ever went into the summer with that mind-set. I always went into it as a free agent or opting out of a deal to get another deal. This is the first summer I can say I’m just going into the summer and see how I feel and see the position this organization is in and go from there.
“I’m not really concerned with it, honestly. I’m cool with whatever I decide to do. It will be my decision.”
When asked if he needs to assess whether he still has the desire to play, Wade responded, “Definitely.”
“You definitely have to check that,” he said. “A lot of things go into it. Do you want to put that same grind in again? As you get older, it’s a different kind of grind to get ready for games, to get your body ready. Can you mentally go through another year and give it your all and not be checked out in the middle of that season?”
Since arriving back in Miami via trade, Wade has said he will only play for the Heat moving forward. Set to become a free agent after the season, he could play for the $2.4 million minimum next season and count just $1.5 million against Miami’s cap.
Wade is averaging career lows in points (10.9), assists (3.5) and minutes (23.1) this season, and has posted lower averages through five games in Miami than he did with the Cleveland Cavaliers through the first 46 games of the season.
He ranks 36th in NBA and ABA history with 21,873 points and second all-time among guards in blocks (835), behind only Michael Jordan (893).