Veteran guard Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls are reportedly expected to reach a buyout agreement in the coming months. Wade, according to a new report from Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, hasn’t communicated with the Bulls’ front office in over two months — since around the team shockingly traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota:
To say that the relationship between Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls’ front office is strained would be an understatement. Wade hasn’t communicated with management in over two months, which is why there have been numerous reports suggesting a buyout is inevitable.
Wade’s frustration stems from the fact that he feels the front office misled him about the direction of the team. As his June 27 deadline to opt-in to the final year of his contract approached, the veteran shooting guard wanted assurances from the front office that the Bulls would field a competitive team during the 2017-18 season. Wade didn’t want to opt-in and then watch the franchise enter a rebuilding period. Sources close to the situation say that Wade received those assurances. Jimmy Butler was also given the impression that he wouldn’t be traded, according to league sources.
The 35-year-old believed that if he opted in to his $23,800,000 salary, Butler would remain in Chicago and the organization would once again try to make some noise in the Eastern Conference – especially coming off an impressive first-round series against the Boston Celtics that went to six games (and one the Bulls may have won if not for an injury to Rajon Rondo).
For Wade, 35, a buyout between him and the Bulls would immediately give him three prime options: Cleveland with LeBron James, Miami for a final run, or a separate avenue not yet discovered.
The Cavaliers, Heat and Suns will work to bring Wade in, as previously reported on Def Pen, but the chances of a different surprise team surfacing always exist. During Wade’s free agency last summer, the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets made a serious impression on him.
Wade, according to HoopsHype, is prepared to report to camp this fall as it stands:
Wade is prepared to report to the Bulls if a buyout can’t be reached, but league sources say he has started considering potential options in the event that he hits unrestricted free agency.
While it’s far too early to label any team as a frontrunner to add Wade, sources close to the situation said that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat are two teams to watch as this unfolds.
In 60 games with the Bulls last season, Wade averaged 18.3 points, 1.4 steals and a career-low 29.9 minutes. He is entering his 15th professional season.