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Heat’s Dwyane Wade expected to become free agent

Miami Heat star guard Dwyane Wade is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent on Wednesday.

The Heat were still awaiting word from Wade and his representatives Monday as to whether the 11-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion will opt in to a final year at $16.1 million. Wade has until one minute before midnight to notify the Heat if he will pick up the option for next season.

The Heat, by all indications, are preparing for the most decorated player in franchise history to enter free agency. Wade, an eight-time All-NBA selection, will automatically become a free agent Wednesday if he decides to not take any action by midnight.

If Wade becomes a free agent, the Heat expect to discuss parameters of a new contract with the 33-year-old veteran later this week.

According to ESPN, Wade is believed to be seeking a deal that would average at least $16 million over the next three seasons.

Wade led Miami in scoring this season, averaging 21.5 points per game, but his health continues to be a concern. He missed 20 games in 2014-15 because of injuries and illness. Wade is Miami’s career leader in games, points, assists and steals.

“Everybody in this organization over the years has had to sacrifice,” Heat president Pat Riley said of Wade last week. “The one player that’s had to sacrifice (most) for the sake of winning has been him. This is now getting down to business. We respect him. We want him back. We want him here for the rest of his career. And we’re going to try to do everything to make that happen.”

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