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Report: Dwyane Wade being comfortable with his role a critical factor in decision on whether to return to Heat

Dwyane Wade, Heat

Dwyane Wade’s potential return for a 16th NBA season will not come without some critical factors affecting his decision. According to Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, Wade’s return largely hinges on a substantial role with the team, something he wasn’t able to have upon being traded for a second-round pick and joining the team after a year-and-a-half crusade outside of South Beach.

I am also told by representatives of the club and of the player that Wade being comfortable with his role is critical.

Wade played 21 games off the bench for the Heat upon his return and also came off the bench during his five playoff appearances — which would have been four if he hadn’t put on the cape and scored 28 points in 26 minutes to give the Heat their only playoff win.

“I have not been told Wade would demand to start,” wrote Cote. “But does he see himself good for more than 25 minutes a game? He mentioned recently that he embraces a mentor’s role for the club’s many young guys still developing, “but you also want to play,” he added. A significant addendum, I thought.”

Wade played a mere 22.2 minutes per game upon his return to Miami, minutes which increased to 25.4 in the playoffs.

While his explosiveness and athleticism have declined with age (and the myriad tough falls he has taken early in his career), Wade is still capable of some flashes of brilliance and putting the team on his back when need be, as evidenced by a few performances last season.

It’s believed that Wade will return for a 16th season sooner or later, but if he does, it’ll be under his conditions — to see the floor more than the bench.