Storyline: Dwyane Wade Free Agency

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Riley said what will endure are Wade’s accomplishment’s over his 13 seasons with the Heat, including three NBA titles. “Other than actually being in love with Dwyane Wade because of our relationship over 13 years when he was here, and remembering when Jason Terry missed that shot in Dallas and Dwyane collared the rebound, threw it to the heavens and we won the championship and he was MVP of that series,” Riley said of the 2006 NBA Finals, “other than that, if something happens, and I can speak to this because he’s under contract to them, I’m just speaking of my experience with Dwyane.”

Dwayne Wade waiting on Bulls' move?

All eyes will be on Wade as he enters his 15th season, with the 6-4 hometown kid’s stay in Chicago possibly nearing its end. After fellow guard Jimmy Butler was dealt to Minnesota in a draft-night trade, Wade — who had exercised his $23.8  million option for the 2017-18 season — made it known in his circles that he wanted a buyout. According to one source, however, he has not gone to the front office with that request. Don’t expect that to change. According to the same source, Wade is hoping the Bulls approach him first — with a suitable monetary amount.

“First of all, obviously, everyone wants to compete,” Wade said. “It’s no secret. We would all love to compete for a championship at the end of my career. That is one thing I would love to do. I’m not in a position right now to do that so I can’t talk about what that preference is. Hopefully, one day before I’m done playing this game, I can be back in position to compete for a championship.” Wade elaborated on his comments after Aldridge asked if he would like to be on another team that can compete for championships. “Definitely, definitely. It’s no secret. And everyone knows that. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been to five Finals. So If I never go to another one, I can’t complain. But I would love to,” said Wade. “I would love to because I feel I can add to something a team that’s in that position. That’s not something I can focus on or something I can worry about right now.”

Though ESPN reported that LeBron James’ camp expects Dwyane Wade to end up with Cleveland if he reaches a buyout with the Bulls, a Wade associate has been telling people that Miami and Los Angeles are also appealing destinations for Wade. Chicago media has reported recently that no Bulls buyout talks have happened yet with Wade, and it’s unclear when they will happen…The person who mentioned Miami and L.A. to me was the same person who first alerted me to my scoop a few years ago that Wade’s negotiations with the Heat were not going well – the first time that information ever surfaced (and a year later, the sides divorced).

Miami Heat captain Udonis Haslem has some advice – and a message – for his good friend, Dwyane Wade. “My advice to him is, ‘Hey, we’d love to have you but take it one step at a time, take it one day at a time,” Haslem said today on the Joe Rose Show on 560WQAM. “The situation with Chicago and everything that’s going on it’s just a frustrating situation on both sides and I think he just made a decision based on frustration.” Haslem, who is about to start his 15th season with the Heat, spent 13 of those with Wade. With speculation Wade and the Chicago Bulls are headed for a breakup via a buyout, Haslem is hoping to be reunited with his friend.
3 months ago via ESPN

Dwyane Wade staying a Bull?

Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade is leaning toward picking up his $24 million player option to remain with the team next season, league sources told ESPN.com. Wade has until June 27 to inform the Bulls of his decision. After the season, sources said, Wade told the Bulls he had no interest in being part of a rebuilding situation, if they chose to deconstruct a team that gave the Boston Celtics a strong challenge in the first round of the playoffs this year.

Sources tell CSNChicago.com Wade hasn’t yet made a decision on next season and hasn’t informed the Bulls of anything yet, as he’ll continue vacationing for the next couple weeks before deciding his future. Wade met with Bulls management last week in the attempt to gauge where the franchise’s direction would be for next season. The Bulls hold the 16th pick in next week’s NBA Draft, and although they’ve met with Jimmy Butler, things still appear murky as to their long-term commitment to Butler and if they want to try to make inroads in the Eastern Conference with veteran reinforcements.

In that meeting, the Bulls were up front about the likelihood that they will stay the course as opposed to looking at the landscape of the East and making significant changes to the personnel, sources close to Wade tell CSNChicago.com. The Bulls gave the same speech to Butler in their last meeting when Butler came back to Chicago over a week ago, although one wonders if they’ll entertain trade discussions surrounding Butler next week with the draft approaching.

While the front office came out of a weekend meeting with Dwyane Wade with no official decision from the veteran guard on his 2017-18 $23.8-million player option, several teammates had a sense of the direction Wade was leaning. “He definitely sounds like a guy that’s coming back,’’ one Bulls player told the Sun-Times on Monday. “I just feel like when you’re talking about recruiting [potential free agents] and what you hope your [teammates] are working on [this summer], you’re in.’’

The meeting, which was described as positive and came on the heels of a similar meeting with Butler earlier last week, covered a wide variety of topics, including the possibilities for next year’s team, one source said. Wade has until June 27 to officially decide on his $23.8 million player option to return to the Bulls next season. The Bulls haven’t pressed Wade on his decision out of respect for the process. But the franchise has been preparing for Wade to opt in all along, and most league observers believe Wade will return.

“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.”
5 months ago via ESPN

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.”
5 months ago via ESPN

“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.”
5 months ago via ESPN

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.’’

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?”

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.
7 months ago via ESPN

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.
7 months ago via ESPN

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.”

9 months ago via ESPN

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.”
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September 24, 2017 | 11:15 pm EDT Update