Saturday brought news that Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade will each opt out of their current contracts with the Miami Heat and enter free agency. However, the moves are expected to help the Heat, who plan on re-signing the two to long-term deals that will give Heat President Pat Riley more immediate cap flexibility.
In his statement, Riley sounded optimistic about the situation:
“Today we were notified of Dwyane’s intention to opt-out of his contract and Udonis’ intention to not opt into his contract, making both players free agents. Dwyane has been the cornerstone of our organization for over a decade, and we hope he remains a part of the HEAT family for life. Udonis has been the heartbeat of this team for 11 years. He has sacrificed countless times to make this organization successful, and he is the epitome of what this organization stands for. We look forward to meeting with Dwyane and Udonis and their agent in the coming days to discuss our future together.”
LeBron James had previously opted out, and the Heat will need the cap room generated by Haslem and Wade’s decision in order to add more talent to a team that lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.
Both Haslem and Wade have sacrificed money in the past in order to bring LeBron to Miami, and it seems that they are willing to do it again to keep him there.
Wade & Haslem were already headed for the rafters. But sacrificing again should give them shields from criticism as their careers wind down.
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 28, 2014
Remember, the Heat haven’t known a championship team without Wade and Haslem in the locker room. The two players who have never played for another team continue to give their all to the Heat.