The Wade legacy is expanding within the world of professional basketball.
Zaire Wade, the son of Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade, reportedly is signing a contract with the G League. The younger Wade reportedly will play for the Salt Lake City Stars, the affiliate of the Utah Jazz, but first he must enter the Oct. 3 G League draft. The Stars have the 10th pick in each of the draft’s three rounds, and if Zaire Wade somehow is not drafted at all the Salt Lake team could sign him after the draft.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 12, 2021
Dwyane Wade is also part-owner of the Jazz. In 2020, tech billionaire Ryan Smith and his wife Ashley purchased a significant stake in the ownership of Utah Jazz for $1.66 billion. Wade agreed to join the team’s ownership group.
Wade was a fixture at Jazz games late in the 2020-21 campaign.
Zaire Wade played high school basketball at Sierra Canyon in California. He was a 3-star recruit, according to reported high school sports rankings. He was the No. 31 overall prospect in California, the No. 29 combo-guard in the class, and the No. 289 overall prospect in the class.
However, the combo guard decided to go pro and decline scholarships offers from Rhode Island, Toledo, DePaul, and South Carolina.
Zaire Wade, the son of Dwyane Wade, is signing a contract in the NBA G League and is expected to join the Utah Jazz’s affiliate Salt Lake City Stars, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Dwyane Wade is a part-owner of the Jazz.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 12, 2021
Wade was ranked in the top 150 of the 2020 class nationwide. However, as the son of a three-time NBA champion, Wade had all the pressure of a superstar’s son on his high school shoulders.
Expected to be a star of the team, Wade had to share the spotlight and notoriety with Bronny James, the elder son of LeBron James. The two played together in 2019.
Wade subsequently joined Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, back in April 2020. He was reclassified to the Class of 2021 after struggling to find playing time at Sierra Canyon. Dwyane Wade didn’t attend Zaire’s final game at Sierra Canyon in protest, as he was disgruntled with the school’s head coach.
Locked in Big Bro 🤝 https://t.co/lBfcmTuGM1
— Zaire Wade (@zairewade21) October 12, 2021
Wade looked primed for a breakout senior season after his substantial fall-off with Sierra Canyon. Unfortunately, he tore a ligament in his right ankle and was forced to the sideline for a significant portion of the season.
“I think I’m smarter,” Wade said to 247Sports. “My IQ was already high but I think that being injured and seeing what we needed from the sidelines helped me in general, seeing my teammates tendencies and shooting the ball. I couldn’t jump or move a lot, but I was shooting during that time.”
Bronny James was out all of the spring season due to knee surgery he had in February. After practicing for weeks, James was cleared to play back in June. Many have speculated about hpow fast Bronny will make a leap to the pros like his famous dad did from high school.
Looks like Zaire Wade is following Dwyane’s footsteps 👀 pic.twitter.com/Ty5myUXUk8
— Jazz Nation (@JazzNationCP) October 12, 2021
Zaire has spoken in the past about understanding the pressure that come with playing in the shadow of a superstar father.
“Growing up, he (Dwyane Wade) had three offers and I think Marquette was the best one,” Zaire Wade told 247Sports. “Me, right now, I have a [a few] offers, so there’s a lot of similarities that we’ve had growing up.
“He just tells me that all the five-stars and having a lot of offers, that doesn’t matter. There’s a lot of guys in the NBA who have had that same story. There’s not a lot of LeBrons coming out of high school that are superstars right away. It takes time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Zaire’s move to the pros is a contrast to his father’s path of going from high school to Marquette and becoming a superstar.
However, in the era ultra passionate basketball fathers like LaVar Ball, the new environment will get Zaire to flourish and hopefully reach the NBA itself.