LeBron James is heading home to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chris Bosh appears bound for the Houston Rockets. Though it’s been assumed that the first and last member of the Miami Heat’s Big Three would stay in South Beach, now comes a report that the Chicago Bulls are courting Dwyane Wade.
The news is courtesy of Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Chicago Bulls are gauging interest with free agent Dwyane Wade, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2014
The Bulls are still in the running for Carmelo Anthony. Despite recent reports that Anthony is still undecided, it appears most likely that he will re-sign with New York Knicks. Chicago would still hunt cap space to sign a big-name free agent in that scenario, and the departures of James and Bosh from Miami make Wade a suddenly viable target.
Wade grew up on the South Side of Chicago and grew up idolizing Michael Jordan. He seriously considered joining the Bulls in 2010 before teaming with James and Bosh in Miami, too. Though his price-tag is unknown, Chicago would likely have the financial flexibility necessary to sign him outright – assuming Anthony goes elsewhere, of course – if they amnesty Carlos Boozer and make additional smaller moves.
The question for Wade becomes whether or not he’s comfortable leaving the franchise he helped build. Conventional wisdom said that he, like Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki, would never play for another team than the one with which he’s spent his entire career. But LeBron’s surprising choice casts doubt on that assumption, leaving the Heat unlikely playoff contenders in 2014-2015 barring unrealistic upgrades through free agency. Wade is surely entitled to more money from Miami than he would be from the Bulls or any other team, but weighing continuity and monetary security versus championship viability could ultimately sway him in Chicago’s direction.
He’d be an ideal fit for the Bulls, too, easing the return of Derrick Rose and offering Tom Thibodeau the secondary perimeter playmaker that his team has long lacked. It bears mentioning, however, that Wade could be turned off by Thibodeau’s short playing rotation. On the other hand, if Chicago is interested in Wade it surely realizes the limitations his creaky knees place on his availability.
The Bulls are intent on adding a player of All-Star caliber to their roster this summer, and James’ choice to play in Cleveland should only strengthen that determination. While few deemed it possible Wade would be among their targets, now that he is it’s clear just how instrumental he could be to Chicago finally getting over the hump in the East.
Would Wade be a good fit in Chicago?
Follow Jack on Twitter at @ArmstrongWinter.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.