Posted by Sekou Smith
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We’ve heard some strange conspiracy theories since this free agent frenzy began, but Dwyane Wade as a double agent for the Miami Heat?
Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel suggests that Wade’s dalliance with the Chicago Bulls could be covert ops for the Pat Riley‘s outfit, or something like that.
Stop laughing … and run with this theory for a minute. Hyde correctly points out that Wade is still pushing the Heat to make sure he doesn’t have to work like a pack mule the way he has the past couple of seasons, when the Heat made the playoffs but exited in the first round:
By now, it’s obvious that any help won’t do. Wade doesn’t want Amar’e Stoudemire, whom the Heat nearly grabbed at the February trade deadline according to a source, or Carlos Boozer, who would love to play in Miami.
He doesn’t want Brendan Haywood or David Lee as primary help. He could have had any of those players lining up beside him by now. Dirk Nowitzki‘s size and game would be a perfect complement to Wade, except Nowitzki is 32 and seemingly married to Dallas.
Wade’s decision hinges on Chris Bosh or LeBron James coming to the Heat. At the very least, it hinges on them not lining up together in Cleveland or Chicago to form the kind of dynasty Riley talked about here. And Wade wants to join.
So the story isn’t Wade. It’s Riley, just as it always has been with the Heat. He’s 65. This is the final big play of his grand career. The Heat needs Ted Williams hitting a home run in his last at-bat right now, not Willie Mays stumbling at home plate with the Mets.
The tough question remains just what Riley can throw down on the recruiting table besides his seven championship rings. That says a lot. But listen to how the sales pitches must have gone from teams to Wade, James and Bosh.
From Chicago General Manager John Paxson: “If you come here, we have Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and our plan is to team you with either LeBron or Bosh. Maybe all of you, if you’re on board. That’s a championship team. And it’s in your hometown.”
From New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov: “We have point guard Devin Harris, 7-foot Brook Lopez, the No. 3 pick in the draft, 6-10 Derrick Favors. That’s a good point guard and two good big men. And we’ll get another great around. And I’ll make you an international name.”
From Riley: “Trust me.”
Time will tell if that’s enough for Wade.
But we’re guessing here at the hideout that he needs more assurance than that, even from a man of action like Riley.