Just before the start of training camp in 2017, Dwyane Wade signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, reuniting with LeBron James to make another title run. Just like Miami, but with less Peruvian ceviche and more pierogies.
We all know how that ended (Wade was traded to Miami at the deadline and is finishing his career there), but Wade went into Cleveland with his eyes wide open. He knew LeBron was headed to Los Angeles, the future Hall of Famer told Joe Varden of The Athletic.
“LeBron, first of all, he’s a guy who always plays his cards close to the vest, but I knew his ultimate goal was to be in Los Angeles,” Wade told The Athletic. “He recruited me and he talked to me about signing there (Cleveland), and I said, ‘listen, I know you might not be there long, you’re gonna be a free agent and there are some things that might happen, and we’ll have a conversation.’ I just thought I’d make it through the season first.”
It didn’t work out that way. Why did Wade sign in Cleveland then? To chase a ring.
“That’s why I signed there in the first place,” Wade said. “If I had known that was gonna happen (the trade), I wouldn’t have signed there. It’s gonna be an item on my resume that’s hard to understand, but it happened. I know I filled my role while I was there, as a veteran and a leader. At least I can say I made some really cool relationships with the people who were there.”
Cleveland was a mess last season, one LeBron was able to will to the Finals anyway. However, it took a midseason roster shakeup of trades — which included Wade and Isaiah Thomas going out — to make that happen. In the end, the trade was best for Wade, he got to go home, and the Cavaliers.
But Wade knew he was not going to Cleveland for a long time anyway. He knew what was going to happen the next summer before the rest of the league was sure.