Why Pat Riley should have signed Dwyane Wade to a max contract in the summer of 2016.
Dwyane Wade is probably the greatest Miami Heat player in history. With that in mind, it is weird and wrong that Pat Riley did not pay Wade to re-sign in Miami. Wade instead went on to sign a two year, $47 million deal with the Chicago Bulls. Many people questioned Riley's move to not give Wade the money he wanted and felt he deserved. Wade was looking for a 2-3 year deal giving him about $20 million per year, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. So let's say a $60 million deal. Not much from a player who brought your team 3 championships and who laid down the foundation of winning. Furthermore, Wade has brought excitement to the franchise and was able to recruit superstars. He took pay cuts and sacrificed to help the team achieve their bigger picture goals. Riley offered Wade $10 million per year, but offered a massive contract to Goran Dragic and gave Hassan Whiteside a four-year maximum contract.
Wade was coming off a season where he averaged 19.0 points per game, led Miami to the third seed in the east and took them to the Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals despite injury issues across the rest of their roster. Wade put up 21.4 points per game during Miami's 2016 playoff run. Wade didn't slow down much in his first year in Chicago as he averaged 18.3 ppg (All stats provided by basketball-reference.com). Father Prime showed he still has a lot in the tank.
During the 2016 offseason, Riley was probably worried that Wade was going to slow down since he was turning 35 years old in 2017. It is well known that a lot of superstars still try to be the man even as they are on the downside of their careers. But Wade is not like that; he has shown he is willing to take a backseat for another star as he did with Lebron James and as he was starting to do with Hassan Whiteside.
Dwyane Wade is not a player who is still putting up a bunch of shots to try to get 20 points. Riley should have kept Wade around. Wade was a Heat Lifer. He was loyal. Wade could have helped this young Heat team succeed, and they definitely would have made the playoffs last season. Riley does regret not maxing out D-Wade, but it's too late now. Wade is back with his hometown team and Miami is pushing to make the playoffs in 2018.
However, let's not rule out a Wade return to Miami before he finally hangs up his shoes.