Person with knowledge of negotiations: Dwyane Wade decides to remain with the Miami Heat



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MIAMI — Dwyane Wade is staying with the Miami Heat.

Wade informed the Heat on Thursday that he will accept their one-year offer to re-sign for $20 million for next season, said a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no NBA deals can be finalized this summer until July 9.

The decision ends a weeks-long, sometimes-contentious saga between the Heat and their franchise player. Wade was open to the idea of leaving Miami over a contract dispute, moreso than ever before.

But in the end, the three-time champion and the only team for whom he's played worked out a deal that conceivably could mean he will finish his career in Miami.

An 11-time All-Star, Wade averaged 21.5 points this past season.

"It has been an honor and privilege to play with the Miami Heat the past 12 years," Wade said in a statement first released to AP. "The Heat family and I have shared incredible moments over the years and I look forward to continuing our journey. I am extremely proud of my personal contributions in helping to build the Heat franchise and for bringing three NBA championship wins to our great city."

Wade could have made $16.1 million this season on the second year of a two-year deal, but opted out with hopes of getting a longer-term, more-lucrative contract.

For now, the more-lucrative part was enough to appease Miami's all-time leading scorer.

"For my entire NBA career, Miami has always been my city and my home," Wade said. "I'm overwhelmed with the love and support the Miami community have consistently shown me and my family throughout the years."

This was Wade's third foray into free agency in the last five years, and this one seemed the most dicey of all.

From talk of an impasse between the sides several weeks before free agency even began, to social-media over analysis of Wade speaking of Miami in the past tense in his role as a television analyst during the NBA Finals and even the widespread perception that a recent image of his father wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers shirt was a sign of a looming Heat departure, it has seemed like a most tenuous time.

All the angst was for naught.

Wade considered other teams — the Los Angeles Lakers, in particular — but lure of staying home was ultimately too strong.

"This contract is a win-win for both Dwyane and the Heat," Wade's agent, Henry Thomas, said. "Not only does Dwyane get to extend his Hall of Fame-worthy career with the only franchise for whom he has ever played, but he will have the flexibility next summer to sign an additional deal.

"And the Heat gets to keep their franchise cornerstone while having the ability to build a championship-contending roster."

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