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Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade reportedly hasn’t spoken to his team’s front office for some time.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype cited a source Tuesday who said Wade hasn’t talked with Chicago’s front office since the team traded Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in June.
Kennedy noted the Bulls and Wade have not yet engaged in contract buyout talks, but they are expected to happen before the 2017-18 season begins.
The 35-year-old Wade is set to make $23.8 million in the 2017-18 campaign, per Spotrac, and keeping him long term doesn’t make much sense for a Bulls team that embarked upon a rebuild when it traded its centerpiece in Butler.
However, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports noted Chicago has an incentive to hold onto Wade until the trade deadline, as the team could use his expiring contract in a move. “If no trade comes up and Chicago is out of the playoff race, as expected, a buyout would make far more sense,” Feldman wrote.
Kennedy’s report comes after Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon said on the Wine and Gold Talk podcast (via Feldman) that “people close to [LeBron] James are fairly confident that, at some point this year, Dwyane Wade is going to end up on the Cavs.”
If Wade and Chicago’s front office do find themselves speaking again the near future and agree on a buyout, the three-time defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers make sense as a potential destination.
Wade could serve as a veteran leader for a team with championship aspirations, and he’s already accustomed to playing alongside James since they won two championships together with the Miami Heat.
Despite the incessant rumors of a possible move to the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Miami Heat, shooting guard Dwyane Wade has not talked to the Chicago Bulls’ brass since the team traded former teammate Jimmy Butler, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.
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The 12-time All-Star is expected to engage in buyout talks with the organization before the start of the regular season, though.
Wade could become one of the hottest free agent commodities after a frenzied offseason that has seen an all-time high in salaries and plenty of moves to keep NBA fans entertained.
The 35-year-old is owed a whopping $24 million for next season and would have to take a major shave off that amount to make a buyout possible, in light of the rebuilding process the franchise has chosen to undergo.
Wade was rumored to be looking for a comeback to the Miami Heat, but the South Beach backcourt is jam-packed with six players between the two guard spots, making this a potential logjam if Wade was to arrive as a free agent acquisition. Miami has chosen to go young and build around cornerstone Hassan Whiteside, making Wade’s potential homecoming a rather aesthetic move than a functional one.
LeBron James’ camp is expecting Wade to join the Cleveland Cavaliers at some point this upcoming season, but the process will be a painful one with the Cavs’ proverbial hands tied to their salary tax situation and the Bulls unlikely to cut Wade any slack in the buyout process, hoping to take the least amount possible contractually to put him on the free agent wire.
While nothing between Wade and the Bulls has gotten started, talks could soon begin, ensuing a league-wide race for his services.