SEPTEMBER 27, 4:09pm: After clearing waivers, Wade has signed his new contract with the Cavs and will report to the team’s evening practice session tonight, says Wojnarowski. Assuming Wade’s signing is official, that means the Cavs have also waived JaCorey Williams, as reported earlier today.
SEPTEMBER 26, 4:37pm: Dwyane Wade plans to sign with Cleveland once he clears waivers, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Wade agreed to a buyout with the Bulls earlier this week and he’ll be free to sign with any club on Wednesday. Cleveland currently has 20 players under contract–the maximum allowed for training–so an immediate corresponding move will be needed to make the transaction official.
It was reported earlier today that Wade had “no intention of going anywhere” else besides Cleveland and that the two sides were nearing an agreement. The Thunder, Heat, Lakers, Warriors, and Spurs were all linked to the 35-year-old, though it appears Wade simply wants to compete for a championship alongside his good friend LeBron James.
Wade’s deal with the Cavaliers will be for one season at the minimum salary, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). The Chicago native is entering his 15th season in the league, meaning his minimum salary will come in at approximately $2.33MM.
Wade was scheduled to make $23.8MM in Chicago this season, but the team’s offseason plans forced him to consider a buyout agreement. The Bulls traded away Jimmy Butler and appear to be in a full rebuild, something that didn’t appeal to Wade. After seemingly amicable negotiations with Chicago’s front office, Wade ended up forfeiting roughly $8MM for the right to be a free agent.
With Wade in the fold, the Cavs could roll at as many as three new starters on opening night, just four months after representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. The team traded away Kyrie Irving this summer, netting Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder along with Ante Zizic and a pair of future picks, and many speculate that the team could slide Kevin Love to the five in order to make room for Crowder in the first unit.
Wade played a career-low 29.9 minutes per contest in Chicago last season and it would be surprising if he tops that mark with Cleveland this year. In 60 games with the Bulls in 2016/17, he averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists while posting a player efficiency rating of 18.5.
Photo courtesy of USA Today.