"It's the first year I've ever went into the summer with that mindset."
Now that he's back in Miami, Dwyane Wade will surely play out the rest of his career with the Heat. The question is, how much longer does the 36-year old shooting guard intend to play?
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, there's a chance this could be Wade's final season in the NBA.
Wade told Jackson that, for the first time in his career, he will head into the offseason with the thought of retirement on his mind. He will be a free agent this summer and says there are a lot of factors that will determine whether or not he plays after the conclusion of this season.
"I don't know," Wade said, per the Miami Herald. "I have told everybody around me that I am taking it after this season and go from there. It's the first year I've ever went into the summer with that mindset. I always went into it as a free agent or opting out of a deal to get another deal. This is the first summer I can say I'm just going into the summer and see how I feel and see the position this organization is in and go from there. I'm not really concerned with it, honestly. I'm cool with whatever I decide to do. It will be my decision."
"A lot of things go into it. Do you want to put that same grind in again? As you get older, it's a different kind of grind to get ready for games, to get your body ready. [And] can you mentally go through another year and give it your all and not be checked out in the middle of that season?
"[Udonis Haslem] always talked about, as you get older, you take it year by year. But this is the first summer that I will go into the summer and say I ain't got much hair left, but I'm going to let my hair down and look at everything as a whole, my family and basketball. Being back here helps that situation for me, makes the decision even easier since now that I'm back already. And sit down with Pat [Riley] and Micky [Arison] and everybody and see what's best for me and go from there."
Wade spent his first 13 seasons with the Miami Heat after being selected fifth overall out of Marquette in the 2003 NBA Draft. He ranks as the Heat's All-Time leader in a number of categories, including points (20234), assists (4952), steals (1416), and games played (857), just to name a few.
Since returning to the Heat, Wade is averaging just 8.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in five games, while the Heat have gone 2-3 during that stretch. Miami is currently clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 31-29 record.