The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly emerged as an option for Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, if he chooses to leave in free agency this summer.
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It was reported this week that the Heat and Wade had reached an impasse on contract talks, as essentially he wishes to get a salary raise after taking two consecutive cuts to help the franchise stay competitive.
That has led to the suggestion that the three-time NBA champion is considering playing somewhere else for the first time in his NBA career.
Wade has a player option for next season worth $16.1m, but it was widely assumed that he would prefer to opt out and sign a long term deal that guarantees him more with his history of injuries causing an issue for both sides.
While it appears as though they might be reaching a crossroads of sort if a deal can’t be agreed upon, the Lakers have naturally been linked with a move, as they always are whenever any top free agent becomes reportedly available.
“Finally, if Wade went anywhere, at any point, I’ve typically heard L.A. as an option. But I still expect Heat to sort this out,” noted Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick.
It is still expected that Wade will eventually come to an agreement with Miami, and ultimately it would seem a ridiculous move for the Lakers to make on the face of it.
The organisation have the No.2 overall pick at the NBA Draft 2015, and with Kobe Bryant set to retire after next season, they are keen to build for the future and ensure that they have franchise cornerstones in place.
Signing Wade, a veteran with a history of injury problems on a significant deal, would certainly give them more of a chance of winning immediately. However, it won’t help their plans of sustained success in the long-term, if that is indeed what they are really chasing.