Dwyane Wade will once again don a Miami Heat uniform—that is, once he hangs up his new one in Cleveland.
The future Hall-of-Famer announced Thursday – just a day after signing a 1-year, $2.3 million contract with the Cavaliers – that he intends to retire as a member of the team that drafted him 5th overall a mere 14 years ago.
Wade’s prophecy puts a second wave of nostalgia on the horizon for the 13-time All-Star, the first being a realignment with an old friend in Northeast Ohio. He’ll slot in aside former teammate LeBron James as the Cavs’ starting 2-guard, infusing the starting five with added championship DNA.
With averages of 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists last year in Chicago’s guard-heavy, shooting-depleted offense, Wade can surely find his niche in the Cavs’ talent-laden roster. This is the lightest offensive burden Flash will have to carry in his career, which frees him up for more quality mid-range looks alongside a litany of 3-point specialists. In that respect, this isn’t simply a change of scenery for Wade—this is an upgrade to a modern NBA offense.
His arrival also allows the team to slide J.R. Smith down to the second unit as much-needed bench firepower. Overall, I absolutely love the composition of this Cleveland team. They’re a deep roster with a rag-tag edge that makes them incredibly easy to root for. And even easier to pick over the upstart Celtics to earn a date with the Warriors.
And while Heat fans will have to wait to get their boy back, they’ll at least have this season – a season better spent watching Wade vie for another team’s championship than stunting their own offense – to pass the time.