Monday, August 8, 2011

Dwyane Wade to China Is No Red Menace For Miami Heat

Screenshot of Jordan Flight Tour promo video

There don’t seem to be enough compelling reasons for Dwyane Wade to leave the Miami Heat for China.

Wade’s recent visit to China fueled speculation that he would play overseas during the NBA lockout, but there are at least three problems that make the move unlikely:
  1. Family,
  2. FIBA enforcement of NBA contracts and
  3. Limited money in foreign leagues.
David Dwork from the Peninsula Is Mightier blog did an excellent job illustrating the biggest obstacle to Wade playing overseas: his family. It doesn’t seem likely that the recipient of the 2011 Fatherhood Award would either leave his sons, or take them to a foreign country, after a long custody battle that resulted in them moving from Chicago to Miami with their dad. See this article and this podcast for more on Wade, fatherhood and basketball.

FIBA Enforcement of NBA Contracts
The biggest professional obstacle to Wade leaving the Miami Heat to play overseas is his contract with the Miami Heat. Wade is under contract with the Heat for three more seasons until he can opt-out.

FIBA recently announced it would clear its affiliates outside the United States to sign NBA players during the lockout, but those players would have to honor their NBA contracts after the lockout. Even if Wade chose to play overseas, he would have to honor his Heat contract before playing in a FIBA-affiliated league.

A more in-depth explanation of how the FIBA ruling impacts the ability of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to use the threat of star players like Wade going overseas as leverage in collective bargaining with NBA owners was posted at the Wages of Wins Journal.

Limited Money in Foreign Leagues
The latest rumor said Wade was offered $2 million per month to play in China for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions. While the offer impressed reporters like Michael Wilbon on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, it would likely be for less than half of Wade’s reported salary in 2011 since the regular season in the Chinese Basketball Association is only three months long.

The money outside of China does not appear to be any better. A more in-depth discussion of the opportunities available to NBA stars overseas was posted at Bleacher Report.

Six million dollars is better than nothing, but August 2011 is way too early for Wade to leave his family and risk jeopardizing the remaining $90+ million dollars on his Heat contract. As he told reporters in China, that time “has not come.”

The 305 will remain Wade County until someone finds a way to navigate the obstacles of Family, FIBA and Fortune.

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