Dwyane Wade was one of the last top free agents to make a decision on his next team back in July, and while the Bulls and Heat were his primary suitors, along with teams like the Nuggets and Bucks, there were whispers that the Cavaliers were involved as well, with amateur sleuths attempting to track the whereabouts of Wade and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
Cleveland never really made sense as a destination for Wade unless he and/or LeBron James were willing to take a significant pay cut to make it happen. However, in an interview with Leo Sepkowitz of SlamOnline.com, the longtime Heat star admitted the thought of teaming up with LeBron again crossed his mind, but he ultimately couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return home.
“For me, it’s as simple as, I got a deal in Miami for $41 million, I got a deal in Chicago for $47 million,” Wade said. “It didn’t come down to the money. I thought about Cleveland, but I didn’t fit there. You don’t just do something because, ‘Oh, I could win the ring there.’ I have three rings. I don’t need to chase the ring. This is what I wanted to do. I couldn’t fight it. If you fight it, you’re gonna always be like, You shoulda, or, What could’ve—I don’t like to live my life like that.”
Wade also acknowledged that his decision to leave Miami was one that caught the NBA world off guard, particularly coming on the heels of Kevin Durant‘s announcement that he was leaving the Thunder to join the Warriors.
“I made a decision that was like, ‘What?!’ We were already like, ‘What?!’ when KD made his decision, so it was like, ‘What?! What?!’—like a double ‘What!'” Wade told Sepkowitz. “I’m happy that he made his decision for himself, and myself the same. If you’re a supporter of mine, then you’re happy that I made the decision for me. Doesn’t mean you love it, but you’re happy for me.”
If things don’t go smoothly for Wade and the Bulls in 2016/17, the former Finals MVP will have the opportunity to explore the market again next summer — his two-year deal with Chicago includes a player option.