Dwyane Wade has expressed his frustration with the Bulls this season — both with teammates and management. He’s also not seeming to take head coach Fred Hoiberg very seriously. It all points to a big question:
Will Dwyane Wade be a Chicago Bull next season?
He has said he will consider opting out, but will not make any call until the season is over.
I can think of 23.8 million reasons Wade could be back as a Bull next season — that is how much his player option is for, and it’s unlikely he would make that much on the open market (although he could get a multi-year deal and more security). Also, Chicago is his hometown and he has been active off the court in his city, he may not want to walk away from that. He may not want to leave playing with Jimmy Butler.
Rival executives are not so convinced that’s enough, reports Ken Berger of Bleacher Report (in a must-read piece about the dysfunction in Chicago).
Wade, 35, has a player option for next season. Given the tumult in Chicago, rival executives believe it’s reasonable to expect Wade may want out—despite the $23.8 million he is owed if he stays.
The question is, how strong would the market for a 35-year-old two guard with questionable knees be? He is averaging 18.8 points a game, he can still create shots for himself and others, and he’s still a good player on the perimeter. He has real value, but how much will teams pay for it?
There are some contending teams — Cavaliers, Clippers, others — that would have an interest in Wade as a free agent, but only if he was willing to take a considerable pay cut. To use the examples cited, LeBron James may not care, but Cavaliers already have the NBA’s highest payroll. The Clippers need to shell out this summer to retain Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and J.J. Redick (all of whom would be more important on the court to the Clippers than Wade).
What other teams are out there might offer remains to be seen.
Wade likely has not made up his mind yet, he will get to the off-season then make his call. He’s going to need to decide what matters most to him in the balance of money/winning/playing with friends. He can’t have everything, so what is it that drives him now?