What’s Next For Dwyane Wade?
What’s Next For Dwyane Wade?
According to ESPN’s Nick Friedell, the Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade are expected to reach a buyout agreement in the “next few months”.
The Chicago Bulls are fully commited to rebuilding, and will most likely be one of the worst teams in the NBA next season. If Wade, who signed his $23.8 million option to stay with the Bulls before Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, wants to get out of Chicago, he would need to give up some of the money. Bulls Vice President John Paxson said that a buyout would have to benefit the Bulls, meaning Wade might be able to give up a lot of money.
Let’s assume Wade agrees to give up some of the money. What then? Where to? Well, there are a couple of potential landing spots for the 12-time All Star.
First and foremost, the Miami Heat. Everybody thought Dwyane Wade would be a Miami Heat player for life—he helped bring three championships to the city and is considered the franchise’s greatest son.
Wade’s thoughts of departure in the summer of 2016 were unexpected, but the 35-year-old veteran had the right to be irritated with the Heat organization after contract negotiations were far apart. On July 6, 2016, Wade made a decision to return home to Chicago and become apart of the Chicago Bulls, leaving Pat Riley and stunned fans in awe.
At the time, Dwyane Wade’s reason for his exit was to return home like former Heat teammate and star forward LeBron James did with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It may be true, but in a recent interview on Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Vertical Podcast with Woj, Wade admitted Miami Heat owner Pat Riley’s decision to leave him hanging all summer on contract talks left the three-time champion fed up.
In Miami, Wade would not have the chance to compete for another title, but he could end his career where it started, in a place where he is a hero and an absolute superstar.
If Wade wants another title run, he still has plenty of possible landing spots. Among them, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In Cleveland, Wade would team up with his good friend and former teammate LeBron James. If Kyrie leaves or stays, doesn’t even matter. The Cavaliers are the huge favorite to win the East no matter what (assuming Irving only leaves on the Cavaliers’ terms, meaning that they’ll get something great in return).
Wade would fit in perfectly, but he would need to sacrifice money. Cleveland could only offer him the veteran minimum, which is worth less than half compared to the offer sheet Miami could offer him.
Another option are the Houston Rockets in what would be the first step into a banana boat reunion team.
Chris Paul is already there, Carmelo Anthony is on his way, and LeBron James is a free agent next summer. Sure, Houston’s backcourt is already stuffed with Harden, Paul, and 6th man of the year Eric Gordon; Wade also would not necessairly fit into Mike D’Antoni’s system (jacking up as many threes as possible, ALL THE TIME). But for a title run, Houston could rely on the experience of the 3-time champion. It wouldn’t be too much of a risk, due to Houston also only being able to offer the minimum.
If commited to having a banana boat team – they go on vacations together, they talk as often as possible, and they always had the dream of playing together, LeBron James would be able to join the team next season. James once told the media:
“I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together. At least one, maybe one or two seasons—me, Melo, D-Wade, CP—we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that. It would be pretty cool. I’ve definitely had thoughts about it.”
A team of Paul, Harden, Wade, Anthony and James would be scary, despite their age. But for now this is just an interesting idea. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, and if Chicago is really willing to buy him out.