Miami Heat president Pat Riley has every intent of bringing back franchise icon Dwyane Wade and lifelong Heat partner Udonis Haslem, as the two veterans ponder retirement.
Riley told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he’s been an avid supporter of the two coming back for another season, but will give them space to make their ultimate decision when they’re ready.
“We’ve been in constant communication with Leon Rose, his attorney. Now that I’m back, in town, and we’re really ramping up for training camp, I know Dwyane’s in California right now with the marketing team, getting ready for the season, so I’ll have a conversation with him somewhere shortly.
“I texted him after he got his long-term deal with [Chinese apparel company] Li Ning. We want him back. He and Udonis, we want ’em back, but we’re giving ’em space. We know our young guys and we need to anchor our young team with a veteran presence of the both of them.”
The Heat have a roster of 17 players after signing Marcus Lee earlier this month, and likely will have to make some cuts before adding these two veterans, shall they choose to return.
Wade has been noncommittal to a return and is said to be “seriously” mulling the idea of retirement after coming off the bench for the first time during an entire season.
The 36-year-old spent the first half of the season playing alongside draftmate LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded back to the Heat at the trade deadline for a second-round pick.