Dwyane Wade already started wielding that leverage we mentioned in today's previous blog.
"My heart is here and anybody who knows me, I'm mostly heart more so than anything," Wade told reporters in Miami on Wednesday, a day after the Heat were eliminated by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. "My heart is in Miami. If everything works out, I'll be in Miami."
He then used his potential free agent status (Wade, like LeBron James, has an opt-out) as a means to motivate the Miami Heat to do whatever it takes to put a championship-caliber team around him. And that means, more than anything, going after all-star bigs such as Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer, among others. Perhaps even his buddy LeBron?
"Obviously we've got some work to do, the front office has to do," Wade said. "I think any player that's thinking about coming to Miami, they understand where my heart is. I just have to see things being done and accomplished."
As we discussed in the previous blog, Wade is suggesting he won't commit to the Heat until he's satisfied with what Pat Riley does with overhauling the roster. Miami is a choice destination, no doubt about it. In fact, Wade will have an easier time attracting free agents to South Beach than James would to Cleveland.
With that in mind, Wade seems like he'll be more of a competitor this summer than a potential ally when it comes to free agency. The idea of a James-Wade dynamic duo in New York never really seemed realistic, though it was fun to imagine for a minute. Wade might try to talk his buddy into coming to Miami, but that's just as hard to fathom. The Heat are Wade's team.
Wade and the Heat will be vying for the same free agents the Knicks are hoping to attract.
Especially, yes, those aforementioned bigs.