Jul 16, 2014, 7:30 PM EST
The last time LeBron James left a team, it won 42 fewer games the following season.
Just how much it stings will determine whether Pat Riley continues with this path or shakes things up in Miami.
Wade – who calls himself a “#HeatLifer” – is protected against getting shook in such a shakeup.
Miami’s Dwyane Wade and New York’s Carmelo Anthony are the latest stars to secure a no-trade clause rarely seen in the NBA, according to sources familiar with their new contracts.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
By rule, Wade has the ability to approve any trade next season, because he’s on a one-year contract (the player option season doesn’t count until exercised), he’d have full Bird rights after the season and would lose them as a result of the trade. If he approves a trade, he’d have non-Bird rights, and his new team could exceed the cap to re-sign him up to $18 million and could provide just 4.5 raises (as opposed to the maximum salary and 7.5 raises via full Bird rights if he remains with the Heat).
Wade’s no-trade clause becomes particularly useful if he opts in, because he signed just a two-year contract. If he’s traded, he’d have early Bird rights with his new team as opposed to full Bird rights with the Heat. Unless the 2016-17 cap skyrockets north of $86 million – an extreme projection for even those most optimistic about the effect of a new TV deal – having early Bird as opposed to full Bird rights won’t affect Wade’s starting salary that season, but it would prevent him from getting more than 4.5 percent raises.
I don’t think Riley will trade Wade, who’s been the face of the Heat – with couple-season break when he ceded the crown to LeBron – since people realized the shooting guard was carrying Shaquille O’Neal and not the other way around.
But, just in case, Wade has a little security – both financial and his in his ability to remain comfortable in Miami.
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