After roughly a month, the Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade have finally reached a buyout agreement, as tweeted by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, four teams are in the running to acquire the 12-time All-Star: the Cleveland Cavaliers, the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Wojnarowski notes that the Cavs appear to be the frontrunners for the future Hall-of-Famer, but Wade plans on taking his time before making a decision.
"Flash" slowing down
Wade signed a two-year $47.5 million deal with his hometown Bulls last summer, at the time creating a baffling redundancy in the backcourt with Rajon Rondo along with Jimmy Butler. He originally picked up the team option on his contract but started to change his tune once the Minnesota Timberwolves fleeced the Bulls for Butler on draft night. Letting the veteran guard leave puts the Bulls firmly into tank mode for the number one overall pick.
At age 35, Wade clearly was not the player he once was; he finished with the lowest PER (18.5) since his rookie year and the fewest win shares since 2007-08 (3.4). Additionally, Wade's .508 true shooting percentage was the worst of his career. Still, the former Marquette standout averaged 18.3 points per game, so he still has plenty of ability left to contribute to a contending team.
Who will Wade sign with?
Should Wade join the Cavs, he would reunite with close friend LeBron James. The two spent four seasons together in Miami, winning two championships and amassing a combined 100.9 win shares as members of the Heat. If "Flash" does sign with the Cavs, he might have to come off the bench as a sixth man with the likes of Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, and Kyle Korver.
He might likely serve a bench role with the now-star studded Thunder and the Spurs as well. The Heat might present Wade with his best chance to start; as of tonight, Dion Waiters is the team's projected starting two guard. Rejoining the Heat could bring Wade's career full circle, allowing him to his run with the team that drafted him fifth overall in 2003.
He likely won't make anywhere near the money he was set to earn in Chicago this year; Bobby Marks of ESPN notes that Wade could make no less than $2.3 million. At the most, Wade could make $4.2 million of he heads back to Miami. Wherever he lands, Wade still has plenty left to give whoever signs him.