According to sources within ESPN, the Chicago Bulls have agreed to buyout the contract of fourteen-year NBA veteran Dwyane Wade. With that, it has been rumored that the Cleveland Cavaliers are among the favorites to sign the shooting guard. Joining the rumors are franchises such as the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Miami Heat.
The buyout agreement has forced Wade to leave $8 million of his $23.8 million salary on the table, which only leads spectators to believe that he has an agenda on his mind. For those who remember, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was attempting to recruit Wade to join him in Cleveland in the summer of 2016, but he instead took more money to play in Chicago.
While many will argue that the relationship between James and Wade will be the reason he signs in Cleveland, what about the relationship between Carmelo Anthony and Wade as well? With Anthony becoming the newest member of the Thunder, could Wade’s presence build Oklahoma City into the next “super team” in the Western Conference?
Wade spoke to the media about making his decision:
“I’m going to take tonight and some of tomorrow and speak to the teams or players that are on my list and go from there,” Wade said. “My decision is a pure basketball decision, and I’ll make the one that fits me best at this point in my career and with what I feel I have to offer a team that needs what I have to offer.”
In terms of finances, the Miami Heat would be able to offer the most to the veteran, at a maximum of $4.2 million. Behind them, the Spurs could offer $3.3 million, the Cavs could pitch $2.5 million, while the Thunder would only be able to hand Wade the minimum, which happens to be $2.3 million.
Last season, Wade was somewhat in the background for the Bulls, scoring a mere 18.3 points per game. While that may sound decent at first glance, it was his lowest scoring season since his rookie year in 2003. Sitting at 35-years old, no one can claim that Wade could provide more than 30+ minutes per game in 2017 and remain efficient.
I believe Wade left the Bulls in order to pursue the Cavaliers franchise, but it will be easier said than done. If Wade elects to go to Cleveland, the front office would be forced to pay $10.5 million in luxury tax in order to add the veteran. Is Wade worth the cost? Does he make Cleveland the clear favorites in the East again?
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