Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade reveal jersey number dispute led Miami Heat to drop plan to acquire PG

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors guard Chris Paul and former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade recently discussed how the latter was close to being dealt to the Heat.

A dispute over who would have worn the No. 3 jersey for the Heat apparently stopped Paul from joining Miami.

Paul has worn No. 3 for his entire NBA career, while Wade always wore No. 3 during his time on the Heat. Therefore, it makes sense as to why both players wanted to wear No. 3 on the Heat.

Back in 2021 — when Paul’s future with the Phoenix Suns was seemingly unclear — the Heat were expected to be suitors for the floor general along with the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. But Paul ended up staying with the Suns through the 2022-23 season. In the 2023 offseason, the Suns dealt him to the Washington Wizards in a three-team deal that sent Bradley Beal to Phoenix.

Paul has played for six teams — the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, Suns, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors — across his lengthy stint in the NBA. He has been named to the All-Star Game 12 times and led the league in assists per game five times.

The 38-year-old — who will turn 39 in May — is currently a member of the Warriors franchise and averaging 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game while shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from 3-point range in his first season with the team.

The point guard was sidelined for over a month after fracturing his hand but made his return to the floor in the Warriors’ most recent game against the lowly Wizards on Tuesday. He dropped nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor and 3-of-5 from deep while also contributing four rebounds, six assists and a whopping four steals.

The Warriors’ win over the Wizards marked the team’s fourth win in its past five games. During that span, Golden State also earned victories over the Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz. Its lone loss came against the Denver Nuggets on at home on Feb. 25.

It’s fun to think about what a Heat team with Paul, Wade and LeBron James would have looked like and accomplished. Perhaps Paul would have won a ring by now if he had been traded to Miami.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.