The respect has endured through the departure and assuredly would be there if there is a return. Hassan Whiteside said as much Saturday when the discussion turned to a possible Miami Heat reunion with Dwyane Wade.

"It'd be great," Whiteside said at a fundraiser for his Whiteside Foundation. "It's a three-time NBA champion coming back, coming in and really helping a team out. It would be great."

That, of course, is if Wade receives a buyout from the rebuilding Chicago Bulls, having joined his hometown team last summer on a two-year deal after a contract impasse with the Heat.

Whiteside played his first two seasons with the Heat alongside Wade and said there would be no concerns about the franchise's all-time leading scorer being worked into what has become a revised mix under coach Erik Spoelstra.

"He's a great basketball-IQ guy," the shot-blocking center said, shortly after Spoelstra and teammates James Johnson and Wayne Ellington arrived at the Miami River Yacht Club. "He can find you on a lob. He can find you on a pick-and-roll situation. He's a great scorer."

The respect from Whiteside has been unwavering. That had the Heat center initially allowing Robert Redford to do the talking, earlier in the week posting a GIF of Redford nodding in approval from a scene from 1972's Jeremiah Johnson as a response to a Twitter post of Wade possibly rejoining the Heat.

Ellington, who joined the Heat in the wake of Wade's departure, said he appreciated the talk of a potential Wade return, well aware of the respect in South Florida from Wade's first 13 NBA seasons.

"Obviously this is something that D-Wade helped build," the 3-point specialist said, "so obviously this city and us as a team being able to have somebody like that on our team would be amazing."

The speculation of a Wade return, either later or sooner, has not distracted the Heat from the roster already in place.