BY Frank Isola
Dwyane Wade is what you might call a pretty good consolation prize. .Assuming the Knicks can’t find a way to lure LeBron James out of Cleveland, the club is expected to turn its attention – and full resources – on recruiting Wade.
"I’m not even thinking about it," Wade said Wednesday when asked about the summer of 2010 when Wade and James can become unrestricted free agents. "I’ll answer it different every time."
A year ago, Wade was quoted saying he could envision a scenario where he and James could become teammates in New York, although it is doubtful the Knicks would have enough salary cap space to sign two "max" players. Wednesday, Wade was more guarded about his future but he did smile when asked if he was even aware that the Knicks will be under the cap next summer.
"I think the whole world is aware of that," Wade said. "You’re not a basketball fan if you’re not aware of the fact the Knicks are under the cap, setting themselves up for the summer of 2010."
The Heat is committed to signing Wade, the perennial All-Star guard, to a long-term extension. The last thing Heat president Pat Riley wants is for Wade to leave, especially for New York. Riley and Wade are close but Mike D’Antoni has also established a relationship with Wade through their time with the U.S. national team.
When D’Antoni was asked about his relationship with Wade, 2010 and the free-agent market, the coach finally had had enough. D’Antoni seemed annoyed that just hours before the season opener all the talk was about next summer.