The early favorites for Wade’s services are the Spurs, Cavaliers and Heat, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Miami is currently positioned to pay him the most money this season.
Within minutes, Wojnarowski followed up with another tweet saying that Cleveland was a “clear frontrunner.”
Per Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Heat can sign Wade for $4.2MM and the Spurs can sign him for $3.3MM. The Cavaliers at $2.5MM could pay little over the veteran’s minimum.
The idea of Wade suiting up elsewhere in 2017/18 has been a popular topic ever since the organization traded Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves earlier this summer.
It’s been said that Wade felt misled by the organization at the beginning of the offseason, given assurances that the team would remain competitive in his final year with the squad should he opt into his 2017/18 player option.
Wade, of course, did opt in but the Bulls soon changed course, trading Butler for a package centered around Zach LaVine and Minnesota’s No. 7 overall pick.
In the months since, the Bulls and Wade have gone back and forth in seemingly amicable negotiations.
Per Wojnarowski (also on Twitter), Wade will forfeit about $8MM of his $23.8MM contract, leaving the Bulls on the hook for around $16MM through 2017/18.
Considering that Chicago currently runs the risk of falling below the salary floor for the season, keeping the bulk of the veteran’s deal on their books isn’t particularly cumbersome.
Chicago came to an agreement with Nikola Mirotic earlier today that would have pushed the Bulls above the $89.2MM floor but the Wade buyout will drop them below yet again as training camps around the league begin in earnest.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.