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Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade officially exercised his $24 million player option for next season shortly after the team traded star forward Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in June.
Wade’s decision to come back for another year came as a surprise to some, as the Bulls are headed for a rebuild project while Wade is nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career.
The 35-year-old was not going to get that type of money on the open market, though, and with his résumé already being world-class, he doesn’t really need to chase a ring.
The chance to live in his hometown of Chicago and make a nice salary is a situation Wade clearly couldn’t pass.
While introducing the players they acquired in the Butler trade, Bulls vice president John Paxson said if Wade wants to pursue a buyout, that it would have to be “advantageous” to the team — meaning Wade would have to give a big chunk of the money he’s owed back to the franchise.
According to ESPN, despite Wade publicly saying he wants to remain in Chicago all year and is fine with being a mentor to the young guys, he and the Bulls are expected to reach a buyout agreement before the season starts.
But as the Bulls get set for a major rebuilding season, the reality is that the bottom of a bad Eastern Conference is right where this team wants to be.
From a pure basketball perspective, it appears the Bulls are well-equipped to do just that. Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.
Wade averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in his first year with the Bulls after spending 13 seasons with the Miami Heat.
If Wade does indeed reach a buyout agreement with the Bulls, expect his pal LeBron James to recruit him to come to Cleveland.