MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade still believes his knee will be ready for the Beijing Olympics.
The Miami Heat guard, who missed the final 21 games of last season because of chronic soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, said Sunday that he's been playing 5-on-5 games for about a week with "no problems."
Wade is spending much of his offseason rehabilitating in Chicago, with eyes on both getting a spot on the Beijing-bound team -- USA Basketball will finalize its Olympic roster later this month -- and ensuring that he's fully healthy when the Heat open training camp in late September.
"Just trying to get my timing back because I haven't played since March," Wade said at a promotion for the annual Zo's Summer Groove, a charity event in South Florida that Heat teammate Alonzo Mourning has asked Wade to help headline this July. "But 5-on-5 went well and I'm looking forward to next week, going back to my second week of 5-on-5 and the competition picking up more. I'm doing my job of trying to bring more competition down to Chicago."
Indeed, he's enlisted some All-Star help.
New Orleans guard Chris Paul will be in Chicago this week for the scrimmages, Wade said, and he's asked another good friend, Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, if he's willing to come play later this month. Like Wade, both Paul and Anthony are expected to be at USA Basketball's selection minicamp in Las Vegas during the last week of June.
It's been a long process for Wade, who had surgeries on his left knee and left shoulder on May 15, 2007, and never felt 100 percent at any point last season.
"I'm feeling good. I've been working real hard," Wade said. "I'm feeling whole and I've just got to keep it up. I've just got to keep the process going and not take any steps backwards."
Wade spoke out Sunday on several other topics, including:
• He isn't certain that the top two picks in the June 26 NBA draft will go to Michael Beasley and Derrick Rose, as just about every draftnik out there has predicted. Wade said it wouldn't surprise him if another one-and-done collegian, O.J. Mayo, merited some consideration for one of the top two spots.
"Name-wise, I think Rose and Beasley have, of course, the more fanfare after what they did in college this year," Wade said. "But Mayo is a good player as well. And you've got to look at your teams. You've got to look and see what you really need. And I think the reason he's creeped up in is because he's a combination of a lot of different things and he can really help a program out right away. So I think it is a three-man race."
The Chicago Bulls have the No. 1 pick in the draft, and Wade's Heat have the No. 2 selection.
Mayo, by the way, works out at the same gym where Wade does his offseason work in Chicago. The Heat scouted Mayo at a workout Saturday.
• Last week's wild rumors out of Chicago suggesting Wade could be traded to his hometown Bulls didn't surprise him, either.
"It isn't anything but talk," said Wade, who did his best to shoot down the rumors last week as well. "My focus is what we're going to do next year for the Heat, what we're going to do in the draft, what we're going to do during free agency to get us better."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press