Dwyane Wade probably won’t be finishing next season with the Chicago Bulls.
That was the sentiment people within organization conveyed to ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell when forecasting the guard’s future, or lack thereof, in the Windy City:
From a pure basketball perspective, it appears the Bulls are well-equipped to do just that. Dwyane Wade isn’t expected to be long for the organization’s future, as nobody would be surprised if he decided not to stick around for a season in the tank and instead chooses to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.
Bulls GM Gar Forman said at the Las Vegas Summer League that he hasn’t had any discussions with Wade’s representatives about a potential buyout, but the widespread belief within the organization is that a deal that would allow Wade to play elsewhere will eventually get worked out at some point during the season.
This news/speculation/stance isn’t exactly a revelation. Wade opted into the final year of his contract, because $23.8 million is a lot of money, and it would have taken him at least three seasons to match that on this summer’s open market. But he also doesn’t fit the Bulls’ timeline. He arguably never did, but he’s an especially odd add-on now, when the Bulls are in the early stages of a full-scale rebuild.
Chicago will no doubt play hardball in the beginning. Paying Wade his entire, or close to his entire, salary to go away won’t sit well with an organization that wanted him to opt out and leave in the first place.
But the Bulls have a gillion young players in the backcourt. Any time he spends on the court is exposure they won’t get back. Reaching a goodbye agreement with him allows them to steer further into their reclamation project, while affording Wade the opportunity to join a more relevant contender.
You know, like the Cleveland Cavaliers, who need to do something, anything, to get back on LeBron James’ good side.