Older NBA Players Done With Taking Paycuts
When LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh teamed up in 2011 they were crushed in every which way. The dawn of the super teams was born and the Heat went on to appear in four consecutive finals, winning two of them. One overlooked fact was that all three Heat players took less than the max contract to play together. They were all BFFs and wanted to play in Miami and play together and win together. With Kevin Durant now in Golden State, Steph Curry is also biting the bullet. He doesn't care that he's the fifth highest paid player on his team. All he cares about is winning and it's commendable.
It will only be a matter of time though before Curry "gets his". In the short run, players may take less money to ultimately be successful, but in the long run they are going to get paid. When LeBron decided to go back to Cleveland, he has signed a series of one year deals (with a player option for the second year in case of injury) to make sure that as the cap rises, LeBron's salary will rise. LeBron has sacrificed already and he's not going to again. Not even for Dwyane Wade.
Six years ago the landscape was different. Wade needed Lebron to create a new dynasty in Miami and LeBron needed Bosh to join him with the Heat to essentially guarantee a championship. Now, LeBron is a champion. He may have needed Kyrie Irving an Kevin Love, but he didn't need Dwyane Wade. So despite being best friends (as witnessed in their group boating outing), LeBron has no interest in slashing his paycheck to accommodate Wade.
Remember Wade is in the same position as LeBron. He is entering his mid thirties and about to arrive at twilight of his career. This is arguably the last major contract that Wade will ever receive and he also wants to cash in. Wade has three NBA championships to his name and he's already considered one of the greatest NBA players of the modern era. Now he wants to be paid like it. At no point in his Heat career was Wade the highest paid player. From Eddie Jones, to Shaq, to Jermaine O'Neal, to LeBron, to Chris Bosh, Wade has never been paid like the best Heat player of all time.
It was always assumed after this past season that Wade would resign. The negotiations could be acrimonious, but eventually Wade would return home to Miami. After a two and a half hour meeting with the Nuggets, Denver offered him two years for $50 million, reportedly over $10 million more than the Heat are offering. Wade also has meetings scheduled with Chicago and Milwaukee to see if the grass is greener on the other side. Is it leverage? Or is Wade all about the $$$$?
We are confident that Wade will remain with Miami for a hell of a lot of money. But it's fun to think of him spending his waning years with a terrible Nuggets team.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 6, 2016
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