Dwyane Wade made noise about wanting to see the Bulls’ direction before deciding on his player option.
But despite Chicago actively shoppingJimmy Butler, Wade opted in.
The most obvious reason? Take it straight from Wade: His $23.8 million salary.
Now that the Bulls actually traded Butler (to the Timberwolves) and Wade’s salary is guaranteed, there has been a lot of noise about a buyout.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:
To say that the relationship between Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls’ front office is strained would be an understatement. Wade hasn’t communicated with management in over two months, which is why there have been numerous reports suggesting a buyout is inevitable.
Wade’s frustration stems from the fact that he feels the front office misled him about the direction of the team. As his June 27 deadline to opt-in to the final year of his contract approached, the veteran shooting guard wanted assurances from the front office that the Bulls would field a competitive team during the 2017-18 season. Wade didn’t want to opt-in and then watch the franchise enter a rebuilding period. Sources close to the situation say that Wade received those assurances. Jimmy Butler was also given the impression that he wouldn’t be traded, according to league sources.
Perhaps, the Bulls misled Wade and Butler. This isn’t the first time that has been at least implied. (Butler has consistently publicly conveyed a reasonable understanding of the business.)
But it sounds as if Wade is just angling to get the best of both worlds – a huge payout and the freedom to choose his team.
The 35-year-old clearly no longer fits on a rebuilding team. So, a buyout is logical – especially after the trade deadline, if Wade’s expiring contract can’t be useful in a trade.
The biggest question is how much money Wade would relinquish to join the Cavaliers, Lakers, Clippers, Heat or whomever else. This report reads as if he’s trying to minimize his giveback by painting the Bulls as the villains of the situation.
And, again, maybe they are.
But Wade chose to opt in. Whether or not he was misled, he must live with the consequences of that decision.
That might include leaking information, true or not, that paints himself as the victim held hostage in Chicago.