And all I can tell you is most everyone associated with the Bulls believes Wade will pick up the option and remain in Chicago for a second season. More surprising things have happened in league history, though. So stay tuned. Wade’s player option decision is due by June 27 according to The Vertical’s Bobby Marks. Most previous reporting pegged it to June 30.
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“One thing I can always say about being a free agent in any situation, you always got to go to your happiness,” Allen said Thursday morning at an event for his Ray of Hope Foundation. Wade has a player option worth $23.8 million to return to the Bulls next season, and he must decide what he will do with that option before the July 1 start of free agency. Allen’s use of the word “happiness” could mean a lot of things when it comes to Wade, like returning to Miami to play for the organization he spent the first 13 seasons of his NBA career with. “At the end of the day, whatever that dollar figure is, it does have an impact on your decision,” Allen said. “But I think at the end of the day, you have to choose where it is you’re going to be happy and where you think you’ll fit the most because 82 games is a long time to be in some place where you may not be happy or you may not feel like you fit.”
Eventually, Wade’s decision could come down to perceptions of the Bulls and Heat going forward. “I think with his situation, if they decide to get rid of Jimmy [Butler] and start young, it’s a little bit different,” said Haslem, who again returns to free agency this summer. “I think we had a lot of growing pains, but I think we grew up a lot last year. So if they decide to go young and start over, I think we will be a little bit ahead of those guys.”
Bulls guard Dwyane Wade wants to leave all his options open this summer as he decides whether he wants to pick up the player option he has for $23.8 million next season. “There’s so many different variables that come into play, especially for me at this point in my career,” Wade said after his exit meeting with the Bulls’ front office. “Like I said, I have a great luxury. I don’t need to ring chase, but I can. It’s a great luxury to have if I want to do. Or I can be a part of passing down my knowledge to younger players. It’s either way. Whatever I decide, I’m going to embrace whatever role I have on a team. That’s sometimes being the second option. Sometimes I’m going to be the first. And sometimes this season, I had to be the third or fourth. It all changes, and you want to be the best at whatever role is presented to you. I’ve always been that way. It won’t change. That will always be me.”
“I don’t know,” Wade said. “I don’t really go with the signs. I’m not a predictable person I don’t think. But I don’t know, it’s not a bad thing for me. I’m in a good situation, whether there’s a lot of options or not, I’m in a very good situation to where as a player you can decide what you want to do. And I have a lot of money to decide whether I want to take it or not. It’s not a bad thing — because I’ve worked my butt off for it over my career. But no rush in my mind, I don’t have to think about that right now. I got at least a month before my mind starts going there. So I’m just going to get away and let my hair grow a little bit, get a tan.”
Carlos Douglas Jr.: Jimmy Butler on if he wants to remain in CHI, & continue playing with Rondo & D-Wade: “Absolutely. I want us to add to this core.” #Bulls
Carlos Douglas Jr.: Jimmy Butler on Dwyane Wade’s 23.8M Player option for next YR: “It’s his decision. When he’s ready to talk, he’ll let me know.” #Bulls
KC Johnson: Wade said he wants clear direction from organization. “I respect Gar and Pax.” Said management told him they want defined direction too.
For his part, Wade did not want to get into specifics regarding his decision after the game. “I have a lot of time,” Wade said. “I’m far away from that now; just got through this, 14th NBA season. It’s, for me, identified with championships. If I’m not winning a championship I’m never satisfied from that standpoint, but you take things out of it, you go back and look at the season and see what you could have done better individually. You put that [in the head] and go from there, so that’s what I will look at. I am not worried about my future because I know it’s basketball; I’m not really concerned with it now.”
“It’s tough in this league because a lot of it depends on how much money you’re willing to make,’’ Wade said then. “It depends on what city you’re willing to be in. So it’s a lot of variables to that. But no question about it, what happens throughout this year as I go into my summer, I’ll definitely take a look at it. I take my career seriously, where I am, where I want to be, and I will do the same thing this summer.’’ The Bulls were 22-23 when Wade said that. Did finishing 41-41 but making the playoffs change his mind? “Great question,’’ Wade said Sunday. “We’ll talk about that at the end of the year. Now we focus on Boston.’’
KC Johnson: (Dwayne Wade’s player option) decision is before July 1. We all know that, if the Bulls are gonna pull the trigger on Jimmy Butler, the trade is gonna happen the week of the draft, the week before his option decision is due. That will play a huge factor in what Dwyane decides to do.
Speculation is if the 35-year-old Wade decides he does not want to be part of the Bulls’ youth movement he will look to return to Miami. The Heat should have plenty of money in free agency this summer (around $40 million) to put aside some of it for Wade, but is that the direction they would want to go?
Jimmy Butler told members of the Chicago media the choice to return for $23.8 million “is weighing” on Wade, who is out for the rest of the regular season because of an elbow injury. “I still think he’s got a lot more basketball left if you ask me,’’ Butler said last week. “I think everybody knows that I really like the guy as a person. He’s taught me so much on the floor, off the floor, but that’s his decision. You’ve always got to do what’s right and not only for him but for his family. But that choice is weighing on him because it is a player option. “I tell D, ‘You do what you have to do.’’’
That led to a text exchange with an NBA scout who responsibilities include attaching salary-cap value to players. Q: “Quick question: If Dwyane Wade were a free agent this summer, what is the maximum salary you think he could receive from a team for 2017-18?” A: “$20 million.” Q: “Still?” A: You said ‘max.’ More likely 12 to 15.”
Q: “Do you think he will opt out?” A: “Interesting question. I say yes. At some point a few more million shouldn’t matter?”
That led to a text exchange with an NBA scout who responsibilities include attaching salary-cap value to players. Q: “Quick question: If Dwyane Wade were a free agent this summer, what is the maximum salary you think he could receive from a team for 2017-18?” A: “$20 million.” Q: “Still?” A: You said ‘max.’ More likely 12 to 15.” Q: “Do you think he will opt out?” A: “Interesting question. I say yes. At some point a few more million shouldn’t matter?”
“There’s been so much talk about bringing him back here. I’m trying to get a read.” A: “I spoke to somebody who hinted last night he might leave, but it was a vague notion.” Q: “Would you take him or Dion Waiters if both requested a three-year contract?” A: “Waiters. Longer shelf life. Do these return-to-glory scenarios ever work out? Rarely.”
While Heat fans might be hoping for a reunion this summer, it’s hard to imagine Miami offering anything close to the kind of guaranteed money Wade has on the table next season with the Bulls (he has a $23.8 million player option) if he decides to enter free agency. Although the Heat is expected to have roughly $39 million in cap space next season once it recoups the $25 million cap hit next season for Chris Bosh, Miami has several of its own players (Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Willie Reed) who are not under contract for next season and there’s a chance Pat Riley would prefer to keep those guys on the roster. That said, it’s clear there is still plenty of love between the Heat and Wade.
Ira Winderman: Let’s cut to the chase again with this. The only reason Dwyane Wade left was money, and what he perceived to be a lack of respect with the Heat’s contract offer in July. It had nothing to do with the Bulls’ playoff prospects or leading Chicago’s younger players. And while his efforts in the Chicago community absolutely are admirable and ongoing, that also was secondary to Pat Riley’s lack of participation in the process when it came to both entering the negotiations and acquiescing to an offer that Wade deemed commensurate with his contributions to the franchise. For all the quotes over the weekend indicating Dwyane’s frustration with the Bulls’ front office, there also were frustrations with the Heat’s front office. In fact, when you consider it, Dwyane would have been in an awkward position had he stayed and the Heat then moved forward with their approach with Chris Bosh, one of Dwyane’s closest friends.
But the team has been frustrating all year for Wade, and if he opts out of the last year of his two-year contract this summer, expect him to investigate other options. One would be those same Nuggets, who nearly convinced Wade to go to Denver last summer and offered him $52 million, more than the $47 million he accepted from the Bulls.
When asked if he felt the front office wanted him to return next season, thus picking up his option worth almost $24 million, Wade was noncommittal. “I don’t know,” Wade said. “I haven’t had that conversation about next season with the guys. I think we all understood when I came here I signed a two-year deal with a one-year [player] option. And both sides wanted it that way. And when that time came, no matter what the season or what teammates I had, it was going to be my option. I take my option seriously and I always look into what’s the best thing for me to do.
As Dwyane Wade watches the Bulls’ front office try and figure out the direction it wants to go for the future, the 35-year-old says he just wants to focus on what he can control and leave the personnel decisions to the executives. “I just want to play basketball,” Wade said before Friday’s overtime 128-121 win over the Phoenix Suns, his first in two weeks after sitting out two games because of a bruised wrist and a third because of an illness and the injury. “And do my best job as a player that I can do. Then from there, let them look at me and my talent and what I did and let me look where the team’s at and on what I did this season and go from there.”
This summer Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul will both become free agents – and New York can create enough cap space to sign one of them – but the Knicks’ predicament has turned Anthony’s longstanding dream into the pipe variety. Unless he leaves New York. “I don’t know where that would be able to happen. It’s always a dream,” he said. “They’re all in the same boat I’m in. It’s hard to think about something else when Chris is going through his surgery and (Wade) is going through what they’re going through in Chicago. I think it’s hard to start thinking about that at this point right now. I think everybody just needs a break, everybody is waiting for the break to decompress and re-evaluate.”
“All these players deserved the money they got,” Wade said. “My [gripe] is not with any of them. I love all of those guys. I’m sitting over here with my hands [open]. Everyone is talking the future, the future. My future is running out. I’m still a good player in this league. I’m not asking for something I don’t think I deserve…. Did my feelings get hurt some? Yes. At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision for you.”
“I wouldn’t lie to you and say no,” Wade said to reporters Tuesday. “Of course. I can’t play this game forever. I just turned 35 and I have a number in my head how long I want to play. At the end of the day you want to be in a situation where it’s a competitor situation, whatever the case may be. It’s tough in this league as well because a lot of that also depends on how much money you’re willing to make. It depends on what city you’re willing to be in. So it’s a lot of variables to that, but no question about it, what happens throughout this year, as I go into my summer, I’ll definitely take a look at it. I take my career seriously and where I am and where I want to be. And I will do the same thing this summer.”
“I mean the reason I said that was they asked me a question about going to the Cavs this summer, and I said, well I think they had like $2.4 million [for me],’’ Wade said to reporters Tuesday. “It ain’t that bad. It ain’t that bad for me now. I do have three rings. I mean I wasn’t willing to do that now. Not at all, not at this point. That’s what I meant. In the sense that when you’re a veteran guy, you’re older, some guys have taken those sacrifices. David West last year. He gave all of his money back to San Antonio. That’s something that he wanted to do. He wanted to put himself in position to win a ring. I have three, I’ve been in five Finals, so I don’t need to that.”
“But it is a time where you want to be on a team that can compete too, so it’s just a fine line between what you really want. This summer [signing with Cleveland was] not what I wanted.’’
“You just never know how it’s going to shake out,” Wade said Tuesday of the upcoming offseason. “Obviously I’m not happy being [23-23] or whatever the case may be or will be, but there are things I’m happy with. I’m happy with Jimmy [Butler’s] growth and our relationship. I’m happy with the organization and how they’ve approached things, but I’m not happy with our record. But no one on this team is. But it’s months away before I concern myself with that, so I’ll figure it out later.’’
KC Johnson: Wade talked about his future. Said he has number in his head how long he wants to play. Said many variables will affect his PO decision.
KC Johnson: Wade: “What happens throughout this year as I go into my summer, I’ll definitely take a look at it. I take my career seriously.”
Nick Friedell: Dwyane Wade, on if he’s concerned that the Bulls are just a .500 team, and they won’t be able to grow into more over the course of the season: “I do. I’m 35. I do get concerned. Of course.”
But after watching his team coast through parts of yet another loss, this time a 108-97 defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, Wade brushed off the concern question, despite the fact the Bulls have lost five of their last seven games. “I’m not concerned,” Wade said. “I’ve been through everything; you might want to ask somebody else that. My 14th year, this is my first season here. I’m learning this team, learning these guys, so I’m fine. Obviously, it stings that what you see happen in the games you want to correct, but you got to go through the process, as we say. We’re learning how tough it is to win in this league, no matter if you’re on the road or at home.
Wade, in his 14th season, didn’t rule out the possibility of playing with James again at some point in his career, but he made it very clear how happy he was to be in Chicago. “I never thought I would play with LeBron,” Wade said. “I didn’t think it was a possibility at all. I enjoyed the All-Star Games, I enjoyed the Olympics, but I never thought that we’d play together. That’s why now I look with younger guys and what they say and stuff like that because you never know what the future’s going to hold for you. Just keep your comments to yourself on the future. So I would keep my comments on myself for whatever. For me, I’m here and I’m happy to be here but I was happy in Miami as well. It just happened. And you never know what happens in this game. So people should never say never on anything.”
“That’s not saying that I want to play with LeBron [again]. Let me clearly say that. That is not saying that I want to be somewhere that I’m not. That’s not saying that at all, but also I understand how this league works, how this thing goes, and people need to know just don’t say never, that’s all.”
So is there a realistic chance Haslem and Wade could be reunited? “I’m going to damn sure try,” Haslem told me. “I mean, I don’t know. I guess I’ve got to wait until next summer to see how that goes. But, I never give up without a fight. So there’s ain’t no time to start now.”
Would Haslem consider leaving the Heat to do so? “I didn’t say that,” Haslem said. “I was thinking more him of him coming here. I never said that. I won’t ever say that. When I said play with him again, I never said leave. He’s trying to sell his house down here. I might just buy it and hold it for him.”
Wade, via ESPN: They was in disbelief that I didn’t have any deal that I wanted. Bron always said when we was in Miami, he always said, “D-Wade is going to be like Kobe. He’s going to get that Kobe deal.” So I think their disbelief was, “Why are you even a free agent? You shouldn’t even be.”
If the Miami Heat want to blame LeBron James for Dwyane Wade’s departure to Chicago, a case could be made over a piece of advice James and Chris Paul gave their friend while the three vacationed in Spain at the start of free agency. “The biggest thing that came back from both of them was follow your heart,” Wade said on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Sunday. “Whatever you want to do, we’re going to support. We’re your friends. But there’s a reason you’re having these thoughts. Follow your heart.” Wade left the only pro team he’d ever known in Miami to sign a two-year, $47 million deal with the Bulls last month as a free agent. He was looking for about $50 million from Miami and didn’t get it. The move followed a period of tense negotiations between Wade, 34, and the Heat, where he’d played his first 13 seasons and won three titles.
“I wanted him to come back, but I just know, personally, there were a lot of things he was feeling that, I guess, maybe just came to a head at this particular time,” Haslem said during a conference call Tuesday to announce his one-year deal to return to Miami. “For whatever reason, we — the organization — and him, couldn’t get to an agreement.”
Haslem then referenced last summer’s free-agency controversy when center DeAndre Jordan agreed to sign a max deal with the Dallas Mavericks, but reneged after teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin convinced him to return to the Los Angeles Clippers. Haslem, 36, somberly joked that he should have considered a similar tactic to get Wade to come back to Miami. “In hindsight, I don’t know, I think I should have come in and pulled a Chris Paul and handcuffed him like they did DeAndre Jordan and made him change his mind,” Haslem said. “I don’t know if there was anything I could have done or should have done. But I felt like it could have been avoided. For whatever reason, it just wasn’t.”
“I’m just glad to be back,” said Haslem, the Heat’s career leader in rebounds. “For 13 years, I’ve been a part of this organization. I’ve always had my mind set on finishing it this way. Obviously, I never envisioned finishing it without my brother. It’s bittersweet, obviously.”
Jason Lieser: Haslem on player movement-“All I care about is No. 3 going to Chicago. I don’t give a damn about Kevin Durant or anyone else, to be honest.”
Robert Raiola: Dwyane Wade’s 2 year $47.5M deal with #Bulls is worth approximately $3.1M > (after taxes) Than #Heat 2 yr $40M offer #NBAFreeAgency
The Miami HEAT will recognize Dwyane Wade’s unforgettable 13-year career tomorrow, July 8, via a series of activities. Throughout the day, all HEAT digital and social media platformswill feature Dwyane Wade photo galleries, graphics and videos, including “13 Moments” — a series of vignettes that pay homage to Wade’s remarkable Miami HEAT career. The MiamiMediaMesh, the 3,400 sq. ft. LED marquee on the exterior of the AmericanAirlines Arena will exclusively feature Wadeimages all day long. Full-page color ads featuring Wade and the iconic “This is My House” image will also be placed in the three major South Florida newspapers.
Ira Winderman: A few clarifications: Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade discussed the Heat’s approach during a lengthy (reportedly cordial) meeting after season’s end… Micky Arison then took the point on Wade’s contract negotiations, staying in contact with Wade. (Again, lots of points of view here.)
Dwyane Wade: Chicago!!! I am ready and I’m excited for this next chapter in my life. I’m not finished nor am I done!!! #GoBulls
Doug McDermott: Deadstock. It’s all yours D Wade. #welcome
Ethan J. Skolnick: While you’re watching Kelly Ripa, one more nugget: Pat Riley never called Dwyane Wade during the entire process.
After being drafted by the Heat with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade spent the first 13 seasons of his career and won three NBA championships with the Heat. Hours after deciding to leave the only franchise he’s ever known, the 34-year-old was still trying to process it all. “It’s still surreal,” Wade said on the show. “I’m still numb. I’ve been in Miami 13 incredible years. To get a week to decide what you’re going to do, I didn’t get no sleep. I lost probably five to 10 pounds just not being able to eat.”
Chuck Garfien: Wade on @LiveKelly: “I’m excited to go back to the place I always envisioned playing basketball.” https://t.co/sdbc9glJSv
Eddie Johnson: Every Chicago born player dreamed to play for @Chicago Bulls congrats to @Dwyane Wade for realizing a dream @Sirius XM NBA #realizingdreams
While it’s easy to look back on the money that Wade consistently surrendered to Riley and Heat owner Micky Arison so that they could field a competitive team – including that $10 million giveback in 2014 that was used to retain Bosh with a max contract while James fled for a return to Cleveland – the frustration that made the negotiations between Wade and the Heat so contentious goes deeper than his pocket books.
When Wade’s frustration became public for the second straight summer, the leaks were initially dismissed by many as the Heat and their most important player in franchise history doing the same old salsa dance with different merengue music. But those close to the situation recognized that this situation was different. Wade had lost all trust in the organization. His pride was wounded beyond repair. And, for all of Riley’s talk about loyalty, the NBA is a business and the Heat had limitations on how far they would go to keep Wade.
Riley was too raw to talk about it Wednesday night, but I asked him if he wanted to say anything about how he was feeling, and this is what he wrote by text: “SADDDDDDD!!!! SO saddddddd! I will never forget the sixth game in Dallas in 2006. DW rebounded the ball, and threw it to the heavens and the Heat universe was perfect for that moment. Our first world championship. Our universe is not perfect today. It will be fraught with anger, judgment, blame instead of THANK YOU!!! Ten years ago. Ten years older. Ten years wiser. Ten years changed. All of us.
Dwyane had a choice, and he made it. He went home. Bad, bad summer for us. But there will be another 10 years, and it will be someone or something else in 2026. Move on with no blood or tears. Just thanks. I truly loved Dwyane, but families grow, change and get on with another life. He will always be a part of us. ALWAYS! And no more bruises and enough fighting. Let’s just fly above it if we can and never forget. I feel his pain and pride for what pushed him over the ledge. Been there. Forever, for always, your coach I will be. FOREVER!”
A source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Jimmy Butler had a phone conversation with Wade in which he recruited him. Wade and Butler, who are both Marquette products, are looking forward to playing together, according to the source.
If that’s the case, the Bulls have left themselves flexibility. The hope internally is that Wade’s presence on the roster will be able to land marquee free agents in Chicago. But will Wade have the same pull at age 35 as he did six years ago, when he helped steer LeBron James to Miami?
But all those questions can be pushed away for another day, as far as the Bulls are concerned. Two weeks ago they were headed in one direction, with a strong belief among some both in the organization and around the league that the Bulls would move Butler if a team offered up the right young pieces. Now, the Bulls are on a far different course with a different plan.
Micky Arison: Thank you @Dwyane Wade for a great 13 yrs! You’ve had a tremendous impact on our community and our organization. We wish you all the best.
Caron Butler: Happy for my bro @Dwyane Wade … East is going to be very interesting… #NBA #FreeAgency
DeMarre Carroll: Wow!!! Never would have imagine that…
John Lucas III: Wade to the Bulls big homie going home
“This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family,” Wade wrote in a letter to Miami, released to The Associated Press.
“Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player,” Wade wrote in the letter. “My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game.”
“I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships,” Wade wrote. “I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I want to express my gratitude to the Arison family, Pat Riley, Coach Erik Spoelstra, the coaching staff, and the entire Miami Heat organization. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Dwyane Wade two-year, $47.5M deal with Chicago includes a player option, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Victor Oquendo: In a letter to the Associated Press, Wade says Wednesday: “This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice.”
Tim Reynolds: Dwyane Wade, in letter to Miami released to AP: “I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I have never forgotten where I came from.”
Hassan Whiteside: Mood pic.twitter.com/xdfb7br3U4
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May 28, 2017 | 5:23 pm EDT Update
The Spurs are reportedly exploring the feasibility of a massive acquisition of Paul, but the odds of the stars aligning for San Antonio reportedly aren’t realistic according to Adrian Wojnarowski, who appeared on CBS Sports Radio on Sunday with Gary Parrish to discuss where Paul might land.
“Not that I see,” Wojnarowski said of Paul’s chances of ending up with the Spurs. “I don’t know where that came from. I’ve spent a lot of time around the Spurs this spring. They would have to just tear up that entire payroll. It’s almost unlike anything the Spurs would’ve done or would do to even have a chance at him. I mean, they’d have to really gut the roster. And to do that for a 30-plus year old point guard, who has a couple great years left, there’s no question — I think there’s more pressure on the Clippers to have to re-sign him than for the Spurs to turn their whole franchise over to make a run at him.”
“Listen, Chris Paul, financially, the difference with him staying in L.A. and to get paid, I’d have a hard time imagining him leaving there,” continued Wojnarowski. “There’s so much money for him to be made and at that Los Angeles market, just in terms of his marketing endorsements, I still think they’re a pretty overwhelming favorite to re-sign him.”
Have they told you they’re going to pick up that option? Bryn Forbes: “Not explicitly, but they don’t really tell you much explicitly, ‘This is what’s going to happen.’ From making the team, I didn’t know what to expect. (Popovich) told me after the last (preseason) game that I made the team. Every step of the way, you find out that last day, even if you thought you knew from the jump.”
Did you know Coach Popovich was going to play you that much? Bryn Forbes: “His style is to just kind of throw you in the fire sometimes, when you least expect it. You come to the game like, ‘Ah, I probably won’t play this one, I’ll probably just be sitting,’ and boom, you’re in the game in the second quarter. You’ve just got to stay prepared. For him to put his trust in me, you always want to show up when he does that, so that he feels more comfortable putting me out there.”
Kevin Durant on Bob Myers: “He doesn’t walk around like he’s the leader. We know he makes the big decisions but we work together, all of us, him and Steve especially. If you see Bob walking with a group of Warriors employees, you wouldn’t know he’s Bob Myers, the president of the team. He just fits in with everybody.”