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Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg spoke with reporters Sunday in Las Vegas and said that he and management expect Dwyane Wade to be on the roster at the start of next season.
Although Wade picked up his $23.8 million player option for 17-18, many around the league began to speculate that the All-Star guard and the Bulls would reach a buyout agreement after the Jimmy Butler trade took place on draft night.
Hoiberg, however, mentioned that he and Wade have texted with one another since the Butler trade and no buyout talks have taken place.
“As of right now, no, I don’t see that,” Hoiberg said when asked whether he thought Wade would be bought out before the season begins. “Dwyane, he’s going to have an important role on this team as a mentor. He’s going to obviously play for us and hopefully play well. And take the role of leadership; it’s going to be very important with him.”
Bulls vice president John Paxson said after the draft that the team would only pursue buyout talks with Wade if it was beneficial to the team.
ESPN is reporting that Wade is unlikely to give back enough money to make a buyout worth the Bulls’ while.
Wade is a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. He doesn’t need to add anything more to his résumé. The opportunity to live in his hometown of Chicago and make a lucrative salary at his advanced age was something Wade couldn’t pass up – even if it means playing for a Bulls team that could be lottery bound.
This doesn’t mean that Wade and the Bulls won’t visit a buyout scenario at some point in the season.
Who knows, maybe Wade’s pal LeBron James will give him a call and persuade him to join the Cavaliers for the minimum for a chance to win another ring.