Dwyane Wade is going to be an unrestricted free agent after he agrees to a buyout by the Chicago Bulls. Talks may not have started between the two sides, but it’s only a questions of when and for how much.
Speculation has already turned to where Wade will go as a free agent.
LeBron James and some around the Cavaliers are confident he will join them to chase a ring. Udonis Haslem is among those pushing for Wade to return to Miami to finish his Hall of Fame career. Now, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald throws another city into the mix — Los Angeles.
Though ESPN reported that LeBron James’ camp expects Dwyane Wade to end up with Cleveland if he reaches a buyout with the Bulls, a Wade associate has been telling people that Miami and Los Angeles are also appealing destinations for Wade…
But the person who mentioned Miami and L.A. to me was the same person who first alerted me to my scoop a few years ago that Wade’s negotiations with the Heat were not going well – the first time that information ever surfaced (and a year later, the sides divorced).
Take the Los Angeles idea with a grain of salt, but it’s possible. Also, note that Jackson says Los Angeles, not Lakers or Clippers. Players do love Los Angeles and the big stage it can provide for their brand.
With the Clippers, Wade would move to a good but not great team that will be battling for a playoff spot at the bottom of the conference. That doesn’t seem like a place he would choose.
The Lakers would appear to be a set up for LeBron coming to Los Angeles in a year, something rumored around the league. Wade would fit there and be a championship veteran to help guide the young guns on that team. That said, the Lakers are not going to be a very good team this year — improved, probably very entertaining, showing promise with their young and talented core, but this is still a team with lots of questions, particularly on the defensive end that will learn some lessons the hard way. In a deep West they are not playoff bound. Does Wade want a year of that?
The smart money is still on Miami or Cleveland.
Whenever the buyout happens, Wade will have options. Los Angeles is just another one.