After much speculation this summer, the Chicago Bulls and superstar Dwayne wade reached a buyout on Wade’s contract after only a year of what many considered to be a disaster. The trio of Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo, and Wade never came close to being anything special. Now the Bulls have their sights set on a rebuilding period for the coming future, while Wade looks to put an exclamation point on a Hall of Fame Career.
First, I’ll begin with the Bulls. I think its pretty easy to agree that they have one of the worst front offices in the league. Very questionable signings and trades in recent times have caused much controversy and criticism in Chicago. Trading Jimmy Butler before this year’s draft is just one of many bad moves in which the Bulls received an injury ridden Zach Levine, along with a poor performing rookie, Kris Dunn. The Bulls could have easily gotten a better return for Butler had they done it earlier in the season, but the front office had their hands tied. If they had traded Butler, all of the money spent on Rondo and Wade would have gone to waste as their playoff chances would have evaporated. However, I would have rather seen the Bulls ship Butler out and take their losses from the Rondo/Wade experiment. Instead the Bulls are a whole season behind in the rebuild process and only have a handful of young talent. The Bulls performed poorly throughout the regular season with the most intriguing headline coming from the division created by Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler in the locker room. Even after this incident, the Bulls front office still had their minds set on trying win playoff games rather than rebuilding. To no surprise, they lost in the first round. The Bulls finished 8th in the Eastern Conference and matched up against an overpowering Celtics squad who, after starting slowly finished the Bulls promptly in six games.
A season of disappointment and a seemingly confused front office has left Bulls fans outraged, as they are beginning to demand the firing of the “Gar-Pax” tenure. At this moment, it looks as if these two will get yet another season with the Bulls where they are supposedly starting the inevitable rebuild. It looks like Lauri Markkanen, Bobby Portis, and Paul Zipser will be the only bright spots. Denzel Valentine and Cameron Payne still have much to prove, along with the question marks of Lavine and Dunn coming in from the Timberwolves. Look for the Bulls to finish in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference for the next two seasons before hopefully making a return to relevancy come the 2019-2020 season.
For Dwayne Wade, the Chicago kid himself just never fit in. Everything looked awkward on the floor with Wade and Rondo together. Their styles never found way to mesh and the Bulls struggled. Now, out of Chicago, Wade looks for somewhere to end his career. In my opinion he only has three or four more seasons of production before he hangs up the sneakers. I see him signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers to reunite with LeBron James. Wade still has the big playmaking ability that is necessary for any successful team. I could see him ending his career in a fashion similar to Ray Allen: joining with LeBron James and making some clutch shots in big moments of the playoffs to secure one last title before retirement.
The other team Wade is leaning toward seems to be his beloved Miami Heat where he spent 13 seasons, and won three championships before leaving for Chicago. This would be the “ride off into the sunset” type move. Maybe he helps get the Heat to the second round of the playoffs, but for the most part, they won’t being be doing much else. Whatever he decides, he will undoubtedly be in the hall of fame someday, and I will always be rooting for him as he winds down his incredible career.
*UPDATE: Dwayne Wade has signed a 1-year contract with the Cavaliers for 2.3M. First reported by @Shamscharania.