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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Heat waste little time making pitch to Wade

MIAMI (AP) When Dwyane Wade checked his cell phone shortly after midnight Sunday, he got perhaps the most predictable text message of his life.

News photo
Just hanging around: The Miami Heat have started their efforts to sign Dwyane Wade, shown playing for the U.S. team at the Beijing Olympics, to a contract extension. AP PHOTO

After all, it hardly classifies as stunning news that the Miami Heat want to keep him.

Wade said Heat president Pat Riley texted those sentiments very early Sunday, in what amounts to a largely ceremonial move. The Heat had to wait until 12:01 a.m. on July 12 before they could formally offer an extension to the reigning NBA scoring champion, and Wade said Riley didn't wait too long before pressing the send button.

"It's no rush," Wade said. "We all know that."

Wade didn't reveal specifics of what the text message said, other than confirming the obvious, that Riley was reaffirming Miami's hope that the 2006 NBA finals MVP sticks around for many years to come.

"Something like that," Wade said, moments before he and Alonzo Mourning capped the five-day Zo's Summer Groove fundraising series with a charity game featuring other NBA standouts like Caron Butler, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Wade's Miami teammates Udonis Haslem, Michael Beasley, Daequan Cook, Mario Chalmers and Dorell Wright.

Wade's agent, Henry Thomas, and Riley both confirmed that the Heat formally extended an offer. Both declined further comment.

Wade, who can become a free agent after this coming season, essentially has two options: Accept an extension that would keep him under contract in Miami through the summer of 2014, or opt out of his deal next year and seek a contract through 2015-16, one that would likely be worth up to $45 million more.

Later this summer, Wade said he and Riley will talk more about the particulars, but nothing has been scheduled. Wade is still formulating his plans for the remainder of the offseason, and is likely headed to China for some business meetings in the coming weeks.

"We'll get it set up when we all can get together," Wade said.

His future has been the subject of much discussion, particularly in recent days, after Wade did a series of interviews promoting the charity events he and Mourning were hosting. Wade has repeatedly said he is happy in Miami, but merely wants to see the team get better and an assurance that Miami will perennially try to be a championship contender before re-signing.

"Like I said, I'm good here. I'm happy here," Wade said. "This is where I want to be and we'll go from there."

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