As I discussed yesterday, Dwyane Wade doesn't look like the same player he's been in year's past. This could be a result of age or lingering problems with his surgically repaired knee. His sudden decline over the last season does not mean his days are number in the NBA. Make no mistake, Wade is still a fantastic player and a star in the league. However, his production levels may make him the odd man out if the Heat have to downsize due to the NBA's upcoming taxation schedule.
As Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated points out, the new CBA will force teams to pay a higher luxury tax on payroll beginning with the 2014-15 season. In this scenario, the Miami Heat would have almost no choice but to break up their team of high-paid superstars. If that happens, Wade could be the one to go.
By the time the tax increases and takes effect, Wade will be 32 going on 33. His production has dropped off in the past two seasons. By the time this tax takes hold of the NBA, dropping Wade may actually be the easy choice. However, it would be strange to see Wade in another jersey.
Wade was drafted out of Marquette University by the Heat in 2003. He has spent every year of his career with Miami. He led them to a title when Shaquille O'Neil was there. He has now also won with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Wade is everything to that team, and to picture him elsewhere seems absurd. But it could happen.
If forced to choose between paying a tax that could put himself in the hole or dumping one of his stars, the Heat's owner who alsmot definitely choose dumping one of his stars. And that star could be Dwayne Wade. Luckily, there are still two full seasons to play before that new tax takes place.
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