Rookie year —04 Wade dunking the ball during the Rookie Challenge game for the Rookies team. Selected 5th overall in the NBA draft by the Miami Heat , Wade quickly emerged as a productive player on a youthful Miami Heat team and averaged Wade is one of only four Marquette University players to be drafted in the first round; his is the highest draft selection in school history.
In the end, however, Wade's successful rookie season was somewhat overshadowed by the success of fellow rookies Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Wade did earn unanimous selection to the NBA All-Rookie Team ,  and also finished third in rookie of the year voting behind James and Anthony.
The Heat won the series 4—3 and advanced to the second round to face the top-seeded and best record team in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers, in a very entertaining series that almost pushed the win Pacers to the edge, though Miami would eventually lose the series in six games. He became the fourth rookie since the shot clock era began to lead his team in scoring and assist average in the postseason. The following season, Miami improved by 17 games, from a 42—40 record in the —04 season to an Eastern Conference-best 59—23 record in the —05 season.
He scored 14 points in 24 minutes of play. Wade scored 42 and 36 points in Games 2 and 3 respectively despite playing with sinusitis, the flu, and a knee strain. He also suffered a strained rib muscle in Game 5 of the Conference Finals that prevented him from playing in the series' sixth game  and limited him in the seventh. The Heat lost the series in the seventh game despite leading three games to two after the fifth game and holding a lead with three minutes remaining in Game 7. In the All-Star Game , Wade made the game-winning put-back off of the Philadelphia 76ers ' Allen Iverson 's missed shot, to lead the East to a — victory over the West.
His performance in games three, four, and five, in which he scored 42, 36, and 43 points,   respectively, helped bring the Heat back from a 0—2 deficit to lead the series In Game 3 Wade tied his career playoff high with 42 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds.
Olympic team win a gold medal at the Olympics , in which he led the team in scoring, Wade returned to the starting lineup at the start of the —09 season. On November 1, in just his third game of the —10 season Wade recorded his 10,th career point in a 95—87 win against the Chicago Bulls.
LeBron James himself described the dunk as "great, probably top 10 all-time". He left the game with 8 points in 8 minutes of play, ending his personal and also Heat's franchise record streak of consecutive games with at least 10 points. It was his first Player of the Month award of the season and 5th of his career.
Wade recorded six 30 points games and had six double-doubles in the month, including a season-high 14 assists in an overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 4. During the off-season, Miami-Dade County commissioners voted unanimously to rename the county "Miami-Wade County" for one week from July 1—7, in Wade's honor and to try and convince Wade to stay in Miami and sign with the Heat.
For the season, Wade averaged On March 10, , Wade made the game-winning shot against the Indiana Pacers , giving the Heat a 93—91 overtime win. Wade finished the season averaging In the playoffs, the Heat defeated the New York Knicks in 5 games in the first round, then defeated the Indiana Pacers in 6 games in the second round.
Wade heated up in Game 6 of the second round, recording 41 points and 10 rebounds. The Heat became the first team in NBA history to win a championship after trailing in three different playoff series. Before the start of the —13 NBA season , Wade underwent surgery due to a left knee injury.
He missed the Summer Olympics. Miami won the game 94— The following day, Wade was suspended by the NBA for one game. In the playoffs, injuries limited Wade to a career-low scoring average of After the teams split the first two games in Miami, the Spurs blew out the Heat in game 3 to take a series lead. In game 4, Wade scored 32 points on 56 percent shooting to go with 6 steals as the Heat defeated the Spurs The Spurs would bounce back in game 5 despite Wade's 25 points and 10 assists.
Wade scored 14 points in Miami's overtime win in game 6, followed by 23 points and 10 rebounds in game 7 as the Heat clinched their second straight championship and Wade's third title. Wade averaged 19 points per game and posted a career-high 54 percent field goal percentage, and had notable games in victories against elite teams such as a point outing against the Pacers on November 7 and 29 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on December In the playoffs, the team increased Wade's minutes per game, noted by a point performance in the closing game of Miami's second-round victory over the Brooklyn Nets and a point outing in a crucial game 2 road victory against Indiana in the Eastern Finals.
However, they would lose in five games. Post Big 3 era —16 Wade making a lay-up for the Heat in On June 28, , Wade and teammates James and Bosh all opted out of their contracts in order to cut costs with the intention of all re-signing. After playing in the Heat's first eight games of the —15 season, Wade missed seven consecutive games due to a hamstring injury.
He returned to action on November 30 against the New York Knicks to score a then season-high 27 points in an win. On June 29, , Wade opted out of his contract with the Heat to become a free agent.
However, the postseason saw a change in Wade's play. He converted on his first seven three-point shot attempts before missing his first one during a Game 3 loss to the Toronto Raptors in the conference semi-finals. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Wade had never made more than five three-pointers in a row during his career.
Wade balked at the Heat's initial offer as he was seeking more money and another year in a potential deal. The Heat did not increase its initial offer to Wade, leading to Wade looking at alternative options. The chemistry of the team, which was one of the biggest question marks for the Bulls all season, was strong over the first two games, but dwindled over the final four games after Rondo missed all four with an injury.
Wade started for the Cavaliers in the first three games of season but struggled mightily, shooting 7-for from the field. After a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic in the third game, Wade volunteered to demote himself to a bench role for the betterment of the team.
Wade eventually took to the bench role and became the leader of the second unit. Wade fully believed for many months that he would eventually return to the Heat, though he figured it would happen in a free-agent deal in the summer of Wade had 15 of his points in the fourth quarter. He was named co-captain of the team, along with James and Anthony. Standing at 6 feet 4 inches tall 1.
On offense, he has established himself as one of the quickest and most difficult players to guard, as well as one of the best slashers in the NBA. Wade's signature one-two step allows him to dash past bigger defenders and occasionally get the extra foul shot.
He has proven himself an unselfish player, averaging 6. David Thorpe , an athletic trainer who runs a training center for NBA players in the offseason, also cites Wade's developing post up game as one of his strengths. Wade has also established himself on defense for his ability to block shots and accumulate steals.