Dwyane Wade believes free agency is “different today” than how it used to be, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com writes. “The league is all about relationships, player relationships,” Wade said. “Obviously presidents and GMs have their job to do to put teams together, but when it comes to free agency, that’s player relationships more than anything. It’s where an individual wants to go, so you have to feel comfortable with where you’re going and who you’re going with. And it starts in that process. Maybe you have a relationship with a guy, maybe you don’t, but it starts in that process when guys are able to reach out to you and you see.”
Wade stressed how important it was for Jimmy Butler to reach out him over the summer. “If Jimmy don’t reach out to me then I’m not coming to Chicago because I don’t think Jimmy wants me here. But Jimmy reaches out to me and says, “D, I want you to come,” it’s a different — that’s simple right there. It’s hard to change my mindset and everything,” Wade added.
The 34-year-old went on to reiterate how hard it was to leave Miami, a place where he’s played his entire career. He said it was a very difficult decision for him and his family. “I cannot sit here and explain to anyone what it’s like to be a free agent,” Wade said. “And what it’s like to have to make a decision about where you’re going. And no one ever thought I would leave Miami. No one ever thought I would be in a Chicago Bulls jersey, but I am, so things happen. And you never know what can happen when it comes to free agency.”
Wade said earlier today that the Nuggets were the first team to contact him during the free agency period and added that they did an “unbelievable job” of recruiting him. His two-year, $47MM deal with the Bulls includes a player option for next season, so he could go through the free agent process again next summer should he choose to turn down that option.