The unbelievable NBA offseason had one last twist and turn before training camp opened with the Chicago Bulls and guard Dwyane Wade coming to an agreement on a buyout Sunday evening.
Wade gave up $8 million of his $23.8 million dollar salary for the 2017/2018 season to be able to become a free agent.
He was officially placed on waivers Monday afternoon and once he clears waivers on Wednesday, Wade will be allowed to sign with any team he chooses to.
Multiple media reports have said Wade will seek interest from the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland has been deemed the frontrunner to land the 12 time All-Star and 3-time NBA champion.
Obviously he isn’t the player he used to be due to aging and the injuries that have piled up during his 14 year NBA career but Wade can still be a major contributor to any team in the league.
Last season in 60 games he averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for the Chicago Bulls that won 41 games and made it to the first round of the playoffs. In the postseason, he averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game.
There’s no doubt he’d come to Cleveland to compete for a championship and once again play alongside one of his best friends in Lebron James.
For four seasons in Miami, the two along with Chris Bosh formed one of the most dominate trios in NBA history that went to four straight NBA Finals and won two championships in 2012 and 2013.
Wade and James have been seen on social media working out together as recent as last week and spend time together along with Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony and Rockets guard Chris Paul during their offseason which the group has been dubbed with the name “Banana Boat Crew”.
Wade would obviously start in Cleveland and once everyone is healthy is a strong fourth scoring option behind James, Kevin Love and Isaiah Thomas. He may be aging but Wade still can attack the basket and score as a 48% career shooter.
He can also defend which is always a positive addition with a career average of 1.6 steals and 0.9 blockers per game.
It also makes the roster deeper. Look at the wing depth once Wade is potentially added with himself, J.R. Smith, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert and Cedi Osman. There’s obviously not minutes for all six of those guys but it’s going to give Wade less pressure and weight to carry on this squad.
I fully expect Wade to sign with Cleveland barring any last minute recruiting pitches from another team.
The Thunder worry me but I don’t see a spot or a role for Wade on that squad although Carmelo, Paul George and Russell Westbrook have been reportedly recruiting him since the buyout has been completed.