Dwayne Wade will stay with Miami Heat despite LeBron James leaving
AFP Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
MIAMI/DALLAS -- Dwyane Wade will stay with the Miami Heat to aid the club he helped to three NBA titles in rebuilding after the loss of superstar LeBron James, he said Tuesday.
Wade, who opted out of his contract last month just as James did, sent a Twitter message ending any speculation he might leave the Heat as James did when he returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Home Is Where The Heart Is... My Home,My City,My House.. #HeatLifer," Wade tweeted.
The move will reunite Wade with team-mate Chris Bosh, who was wooed by the Houston Rockets among others but chose to stay with the Heat for a reported five-year deal worth US$118 million.
By opting out of his prior contract, Wade gave the Heat more money to spend on talent to replace James but ensured greater salaries in future years.
"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."
Filling the small forward spot vacated by four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James will be Britain's Luol Deng, the long-time Chicago Bulls playmaker who was traded to Cleveland in January and who became a free agent earlier this month.
Deng reportedly inked a two-year deal worth US$20 million to join the Heat, who have also reportedly agreed terms with Mario Chalmers, Danny Granger, Chris Andersen and Josh McRoberts.
Wade, 32, struggled with knee injuries last season but averaged 19 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds over 54 games, connecting on 55 percent of his shots, a career-best accuracy rate.
The Heat have reached the NBA Finals for the past four seasons since James joined the club in 2010, losing the 2011 and 2014 finals while winning crowns in 2012 and 2013.
Wade, who led the NBA in scoring in 2009, also joined retired star big man Shaquille O'Neal in winning an NBA title with the Heat in 2006.
Former MVP Nowitzki Re-signs with Mavericks
German star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who helped spark Dallas to the 2011 NBA title, has re-signed with the Mavericks, the team announced Tuesday.
The deal reportedly was for three years and US$25 million and saw the 7-footer take a cut in pay to help the Mavericks sign free agent Chandler Parsons from Houston.
Nowitzki, the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2007 when the Mavericks won a team-record 67 regular-season games, averaged 21.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists over 80 games last season for Dallas.
The 12-time NBA All-Star has spent 16 seasons in the league, finally capturing the crown three years ago with an emotional NBA Finals triumph over Miami in which he was named the Most Valuable Player.
The Mavericks pushed eventual NBA champions San Antonio to the limit in the best-of-seven first round in this past season's playoffs.
Nowitzki, 36, has averaged 22.5 points and 8.1 rebounds in 1,188 career games for the Mavericks and ranks 10th on the NBA's all-time points list with 26,786.
MOST POPULAR OF THIS SECTION