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Back in June, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler conducted separate exit interviews with members of the Chicago Bulls’ front office, and by all accounts, both stars received assurances Butler wouldn’t be traded and that the team would remain competitive during the 2017-18 season.
Wade picked up his $23.8 million player option thinking his running mate Butler was going to be back and that the Bulls were going to try the “Three Alphas” experiment again with Rajon Rondo.
Just a few short days after Wade informed the Bulls he was picking up his option, however, Chicago shocked the league by trading Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night.
Wade and Butler were vacationing together in Paris at the time of the trade and found out around 2:00 am Central time. The trade shocked Wade and Butler’s camp and both players were privately dismayed.
Butler has since moved on and is happy to be reunited with his old coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota, but Wade on the other hand is still upset at the Bulls and reportedly hasn’t spoken to them since his pal Butler was moved.
According to HoopsHype.com, Wade feels misled by the Bulls and has begun to evaluate his options once he reaches his inevitable buyout agreement with the team.
Since the Butler trade, Wade hasn’t spoken to anyone in the Bulls’ front office. Wade’s frustration stems from the fact that he feels the front office misled him about the direction of the team.
He’s had a few brief chats with head coach Fred Hoiberg, but they haven’t talked about anything team-related. The three-time champion is upset because he doesn’t want to waste one of the final years of his NBA career on a lottery team.
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.
ESPN reported a few weeks ago that LeBron James‘ camp expects Wade to end up with Cleveland.
Insiders around the league believe Wade will be on the Bulls’ roster to start the season, with buyout talks likely coming closer to the February trade deadline.
Wade, 35, averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game last season, his first in Chicago after spending 13 years in Miami.