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Could the Miami Heat be holding onto their exception for Dwyane Wade?

MIAMI – Pat Riley is being very coy about the Miami Heat’s plans for their $4.3 million exception, saying the team “probably” will hold onto the money to see if “something pops up” that would be of interest.

Of course, Miami could spend that money before the end of the month if they like any of the 90 or so remaining free agents or any other players that could shake loose in the near future.

Or, they could be saving it for months down the road if anybody becomes available through a buyout.

Say a former Heat player who wore No. 3 and helped the franchise win three titles.

Could Dwyane Wade return to the Miami Heat? Stay tuned. (Getty Images)

Just because Dwyane Wade decided to return to the Bulls for, what he said, were “24 million reasons,” that does not mean he will remain there the entire season.

Most believe Wade and the Bulls eventually will come to an agreement on a buyout, perhaps Wade giving back $8 to $10 million to be set free. The talk started soon after Wade’s decision to exercise his $23.8 million option and return to Chicago.

Bulls vice president John Paxson was asked last month about potentially buying out Wade’s contract. The question was asked at a news conference after the Bulls had traded Jimmy Butler.

Paxson said there had been no discussion about a buyout between the Bulls and Wade’s people, but added, “I will say this, in this type of scenario it would have to benefit us. It would absolutely have to benefit us.”

[Eastern Conference Power Rankings: After bringing back last season’s core, where do the Miami Heat stand?]

[Mailbag: Should Heat use their $4.3 million exception to sign Jonathon Simmons?]

Wade had a rocky season with the Bulls after spending his first 13 years in Miami. He formed an alliance with Butler, he clashed with teammates during one well-publicized rant in January and had his differences with coach Fred Hoiberg.

The warm and fuzzy homecoming Wade was seeking didn’t exactly…

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