The Dwyane Wade Saga continues -- and the Milwaukee Bucks' role in it apparently hasn't been killed off quite yet.
Bucks owner Marc Lasry met with Wade for approximately 30 minutes on Wednesday in New York, though the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat also had their chance to make their case to Wade in person. Meanwhile, the Bulls' contingent had to cancel due to a canceled flight from Chicago. Oops.
As for how real any of this is? Probably not very, though I suppose stranger things have happened. Sticking point #1: the Bucks would need to find a taker for Greg Monroe's $17 million deal in order to offer Wade more than $11 million as a starting salary, which isn't much of a conversation starter when the Nuggets and Heat have offered north of $40 to $50 million over two years. Moreover, while Monroe has reportedly been available for some time, we haven't heard any rumblings of the Bucks accelerating any discussions about a salary dump. And yet we are still seeing tweets like this:
Bucks believe Wade is "very serious" about them. But they can’t offer him as much $ as Denver/Miami w/o trading player for pick(s).— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 6, 2016
Nothing has changed with Bucks salary situation so Wade not expected to land in Milwaukee. But Marc Lasry did meet with Heat star in NYC.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) July 6, 2016
The Bucks would seemingly need to dangle a third year just to keep him interested, something Miami may be sort of doing with a partial or vesting third year that could run a deal up to $60 million.
But again, the Bucks' most obvious issue in terms of bargaining is that they can't actually offer Wade anything close to that, and clearing enough room to tempt Wade could require moving Monroe for nothing and rescinding Miles Plumlee's qualifying offer as well. As much as Wade might be able to play, that wouldn't exactly put Milwaukee in a position of strength for the rest of the summer, as they'd have just their room exception ($2.9 million) and minimum deals available to fill out their big man rotation while needing to add a guard as well. Tack on the obvious fit issues that would come from cramming Wade into the Bucks' current rotation and there's a lot to wonder about.
In order to keep Plumlee, they could swing a three-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $70 million by moving only Monroe, though at that point you're likely conceding a trip into the luxury tax in 18/19 -- unless they plan on simply using the stretch provision to eat the final year of Wade's $25 million salary over three years. That's a steep price to pay for a guy whose biggest value at this point might be from a PR perspective.