LeBron James is stoked Dwyane Wade chose to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This comes as a surprise to no one. The two are noted bros. They made four trips to the NBA Finals together with the Miami Heat. Everyone had Wade penciled in as a member of the Cavaliers before he ever reached a buyout with the Chicago Bulls.
James, however, isn’t taken that formality for granted. On the contrary, he’s ecstatic Cleveland was able to sway Wade before another team scooped him up, per ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin:
LeBron James on adding Dwyane Wade: "I'm happy that we were able to keep him away from everybody else" pic.twitter.com/HghZ2bfCse
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) September 27, 2017
This tracks so long as Wade had interest in other suitors. Teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat (for obvious reasons) and San Antonio Spurs all had viable pitches to make. Even the Golden State Warriors gave him a call, per HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy.
But the Cavaliers were the only contender, it seems, prepared to guarantee him a starting job. The Thunder wouldn’t have booted Andre Roberson from the opening lineup, the Heat aren’t contenders, and he would have been lucky to see the floor as a member of Golden State. The Spurs could have talked themselves into running Wade at point guard with Tony Parker on the shelf, but they have Dejounte Murray and just gave Patty Mills a four-year, $50 million contract.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, can displace J.R. Smith from the starting 2 spot or throw out Wade at point guard until Isaiah Thomas comes back. If they go with the latter scenario, as they should, they’ll have some tough decisions to make when Thomas returns. In the meantime, though, Wade gets to pick back up where he left off with James in 2014—a little older and noticeably less of a player, but (most likely) in the starting lineup, beside his BFFL, all the same.