Dwyane Wade

Warriors Reached Out To Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade appears likely to strike a deal with the Cavaliers at some point this week, but several teams reached out to express interest in him after he reached a buyout agreement with the Bulls, and one of those clubs was the Warriors, reports Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

According to Kennedy, while Golden State displayed interest in Wade, the discussions between the two sides didn’t last long. The former Finals MVP has conveyed to potential suitors that he wants to have a substantial role on a contending team, and the Warriors didn’t make it clear what sort of role would be available for him in Golden State.

With or without Wade, the Warriors will head into the 2017/18 season as massive title favorites, so adding another future Hall-of-Famer to their roster seems unnecessary. Still, it makes sense that the team would do its due diligence. The Dubs don’t have any cap room or exceptions, but Wade’s primary suitors – the Cavaliers and Thunder – are expected to make minimum salary offers, which Golden State could match. If they’d been able to land Wade, the Warriors also would have kept him away from a Cavs club that they’ve faced in the NBA Finals for three consecutive years.

Despite league-wide interest, Wade looks like a very good bet to join the Cavaliers sometime after he clears waivers on Wednesday, as we detailed earlier today.

Cavaliers, Dwyane Wade Nearing Agreement

11:08am: Wade is nearing a commitment to sign with the Cavaliers, and could finalize his decision as soon as Wednesday, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

10:29am: Dwyane Wade is strongly leaning toward signing with the Cavaliers when he becomes a free agent, and may in fact have already made the decision to join old friend LeBron James in Cleveland, league sources tell Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Wade is on track to clear waivers on Wednesday.

Although Wade is expected to receive interest from several other clubs, including the Spurs, Thunder, Heat, and Lakers, the Cavs have been cited as the frontrunner for his services since even before his buyout with the Bulls was finalized.

One prominent league source with knowledge of Wade’s thinking tells Vardon that the future Hall-of-Famer has “no intention of going anywhere else” besides Cleveland. Meanwhile, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times hears from a front office source in Chicago that the Bulls also anticipated Wade would ultimately land with James and the Cavaliers.

While the Cavs can’t offer as much money as the Heat, Lakers, or Spurs, Cleveland almost certainly offers Wade a better chance to compete for a title than any of those clubs, not to mention an opportunity for a reunion with James, his good friend and former teammate. The Thunder would be an intriguing destination for Wade, with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George reportedly recruiting the veteran guard, but Oklahoma City is limited to the minimum salary.

The Cavs will likely end up offering Wade the minimum as well. The team has about $2.55MM left on its taxpayer mid-level exception, but the difference between that figure and Wade’s minimum salary ($2.33MM) would be marginal. Additionally, the NBA would pick up part of the tab on a minimum salary deal, leaving only about $1.471MM on the Cavs’ books, which will be a key consideration as the team tries to keep its projected tax bill in check.

If the Cavs do sign Wade, they’ll have to trade or waive a player with a fully guaranteed contract before the regular season begins. Cleveland is currently carrying 15 such players, so adding Wade would take them over the opening-night limit.

Bulls Buy Out Dwyane Wade

SEPTEMBER 25, 4:25pm: Wade has been formally placed on waivers, Shams Charania of The Vertical tweets. He will clear waivers on Wednesday, Charania adds.Dwyane Wade vertical

SEPTEMBER 24, 8:36pm: The Bulls and Dwyane Wade have reached an agreement on a buyout, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets.

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.

Northwest Notes: Wade, Westbrook, Anthony, Favors

Paul George has launched an electronic full-court press to try to convince Dwyane Wade to come to Oklahoma City, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Wade has become the hottest free agent on the market since agreeing to a buyout with the Bulls Sunday night. “I’m in his phone text, his DMs, Snapchat,” George said, “whatever it takes to get this dude here.”

Thunder GM Sam Presti is a little more reserved in his pursuit of Wade, but he would definitely like to have him as part of a Big Four with George, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. OKC finalized its camp roster earlier today with the signing of Markel Brown, but a move would certainly be made to accommodate Wade. “He’ll go through the process and we’ll be in touch,” said Presti, who adds Wade may have already decided where he will sign next (Twitter link).

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Cavaliers, Thunder and Heat were consider the early favorites to sign Wade, but the competition may be more intense than originally believed, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link), who adds that “many more teams” are pursuing him.
  • Westbrook declined to give a direct answer to questions today about the five-year, $207MM extension the Thunder have offered him, posts Royce Young on ESPN Now. “Man, it’s been a long, long summer,” Westbrook responded. “Had a baby. Been working on a little fatherhood. But like I’ve said before, this is a place I want to be.” Westbrook has an October 16 deadline to accept the deal, and former Oklahoma City center Enes Kanter believes he is leaning toward taking it. “I feel like he’s going to sign (the extension)” Kanter told reporters today in New York (Twitter link).
  • The Nuggets considered trying to bring Anthony back to Denver before the trade with the Thunder was announced, tweets Eric Goodman of Mile High Sports Radio. Although they weren’t among the teams Anthony said he would waive his no-trade clause to join, the Nuggets were interested in trying because the price for Anthony kept falling.
  • Jazz forward Derrick Favors has a chance to rebuild his reputation before heading into free agency next summer, relays the Associated Press. Favors says he has overcome the knee and back injuries that plagued him over the past two seasons and dropped 15 to 20 pounds during the summer. Utah needs to replace about 40 points per game with the loss of free agents Gordon Hayward and George Hill, and Favors is a prime candidate to increase his production. Favors will be an unrestricted free agent in July after making $12MM this season.
  • Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey isn’t concerned that his team is headed into a difficult Western Conference playoff race with one of the youngest rosters in the league, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Recently signed free agent Anthony Morrow is Portland’s only player older than 30. “It’s a roster that still has some upside to it, because of its age,” Olshey said. “We’re expecting a lot of internal growth.”

Latest On Dwyane Wade

The Bulls reached a buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade on Sunday, and while that transaction hasn’t yet been made official, the future Hall-of-Famer is expected to be waived and reached the free agent market very soon.

We heard on Sunday night that the Cavaliers are the early frontrunners for Wade’s services, and that hasn’t changed today — Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype notes (via Twitter) that LeBron James and other Cavs are recruiting the veteran guard, and TNT’s David Aldridge tweets that there’s a “strong belief” Wade will end up in Cleveland.

Still, the Cavs will hardly be the only team in the running for Wade. Let’s dive in and round up all the latest on the situation…

  • Carmelo Anthony and Paul George have started recruiting Wade on behalf of the Thunder, sources tell Kennedy (Twitter link). The Lakers are also among the teams that have reached out to Wade, Kennedy adds (via Twitter).
  • The Heat would welcome back Wade with open arms, with one player suggesting that the locker room is “100% hoping it happens,” tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. However, Miami hadn’t formally reached out as of Sunday night, per Kennedy (Twitter link).
  • Speaking to Reynolds, Wade indicated on Sunday night that he’s looking to find a new NBA home quickly. “I’m going to take tonight and some of tomorrow and speak to the teams or players that are on my list and go from there,” Wade said on Sunday night. “My decision is a pure basketball decision and I’ll make the one that fits me best at this point in my career, and with what I feel I have to offer a team that needs what I have to offer.”
  • In a conversation with K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, Wade praised the Bulls and said he had no complaints about the way the franchise dealt with him, though he questioned the club’s decision to trade Jimmy Butler and embark on a full-fledged rebuild. “You’ve got one of the top five or six players in the game [in Butler],” Wade said. “That’s what you want and you were able to build that in-house. I was a little disappointed because being up 2-0 versus Boston on the road, Rondo goes down. If that doesn’t happen, we’re having a different conversation.”

Cavaliers Notes: James, Anthony, Cousins, Wade

Don’t expect a firm answer from LeBron James tomorrow when Media Day questions turn to his future, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Monday will mark the first time the Cavaliers star has spoken to reporters since Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the first time since rumors emerged that he has plans to join the Lakers as a free agent next July. LeBron will probably tell the media that he hasn’t made up his mind, which Vardon believes is true.

The talk about LeBron’s next decision will overshadow other issues surrounding the team heading into training camp, such as the condition of Isaiah Thomas‘ hip, the new personnel on hand, the chances of Dwyane Wade coming aboard after a buyout from the Bulls and whether the organization plans to keep or trade the unprotected first-rounder it got from Brooklyn. But Cavaliers fans had better get used to it because LeBron’s future is going to eclipse everything all season.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • The Knicks were demanding a first-round pick from the Cavaliers in exchange for Carmelo Anthony, Vardon writes in a separate story. Anthony included Cleveland among the three teams he was willing to waive his no-trade clause to join, but the Cavs felt the price was too high.
  • The Cavaliers are listening to offers for the Brooklyn pick, but it’s unlikely a deal will involve either of the Pelicans’ big men, according to Sam Amico of Amicohoops. Rumors have been circulating about DeMarcus Cousins, who will be a free agent next summer, but Amico says the teams haven’t discussed a Cousins trade and the Cavs may not even be interested. Also, Amico hears that New Orleans won’t trade Anthony Davis under any circumstances.
  • Amico believes Wade is headed to Cleveland, possibly before the season begins. He and the Bulls are ready to part ways, and Amico sees no reason why the buyout should be a lengthy process. He passes along a few other roster details in the same piece, stating that it’s unlikely that Kay Felder or Edy Tavares earns a spot, although both could wind up with the team’s G League affiliate in Canton; most scouts like Ante Zizic, who was acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade, more than Cedi Osman; and the Cavs and Rockets “were at the one-yard line, ready to punch it in” on an Iman Shumpert trade this summer.

Heat Notes: Winslow, Olynyk, Adebayo, Wade

For a team that brought back nearly all its key players over the offseason, the Heat head into training camp with a lot of unanswered questions. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines position battles and several other topics in his latest column:

  • The starting small forward position will be wide open when camp begins Tuesday, with Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder all having a shot at it. The Heat exercised their fourth-year option on Winslow this week as the former first-rounder tries to battle back from a shoulder injury that limited him to 18 games last season. Miami was only 3-12 when he started last year and he wasn’t part of the team’s surge after the All-Star break. Richardson, who received a four-year extension this week, came into the league as a guard, but played 80% of his minutes last season at forward.
  • James Johnson is the favorite to start at power forward, but free agent addition Kelly Olynyk will be an intriguing addition because of his outside shooting. Olynyk shoots .368 from 3-point range for his career, compared to .296 for Johnson, although he raised that number to 34% last season. Olynyk, who was used mainly in a reserve role in Boston, will see plenty of minutes in Miami whether he starts or not.
  • Johnson, Olynyk and Hassan Whiteside will take up most of the center/power forward opportunities, leaving little for first-round pick Bam Adebayo, whom the Heat believe has a bright future. Winslow may also be utilized as a stretch four in small-ball lineups, so Adebayo will need a strong showing in camp to earn playing time.
  • Okaro White and Jordan Mickey are likely to make the roster, with A.J. Hammons holding a slight edge for the 15th spot. However, the Heat have concerns about Hammons’ work ethic and he will be challenged by shooting guard Matt Williams. Former Michigan point guard Derrick Walton has been impressive over the summer, but he has a two-way contract and can’t spend more than 45 days in the NBA.
  • The front office isn’t unanimous in wanting Dwyane Wade back if he agrees to a buyout with the Bulls. There are concerns about his defense at age 35, and the Heat already have five guards who can make a case for playing time.

Latest On The Carmelo Anthony Trade

Carmelo Anthony recently added the Thunder to the list of teams he would waive his no-trade clause to join, but Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti and New York GM Scott Perry had been discussing a deal for weeks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Talks intensified over the last 24 hours before the agreement was reached earlier today. Anthony had reportedly insisted for most of the summer that he would only go to Houston, but he expanded that list this week to include the Thunder and Cavaliers.

The deal will be formally completed Monday, and Oklahoma City expects to have Anthony on hand when training camp begins Tuesday.

More has emerged since the trade was announced:

  • Sources tell ESPN’s Ian Begley that Anthony believed yesterday there was a good chance he was headed to Cleveland (Twitter link). Anthony has a tight relationship with LeBron James, and the Cavaliers could use another scorer while Isaiah Thomas is sidelined with a hip injury.
  • The addition of Anthony could put the Thunder in the running to sign Dwyane Wade once he reaches a buyout with the Bulls, tweets Chris Mannix of the Vertical. Wade probably wouldn’t start in Oklahoma City and the team can’t offer much money, but he may be willing to accept a sixth man role to take another shot at a ring beside Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
  • Presti should be lauded for rebuilding the Thunder without surrendering a first-round pick, tweets Michael Lee of The Vertical. OKC send Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to Indiana in exchange for George, then shipped Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-rounder to the Knicks to get Anthony. The Thunder already owe their 2018 first-round pick to Minnesota (lottery protected) and another first-rounder to Orlando two years later.
  • Oklahoma City had a secret weapon, Lee adds, in vice president and assistant GM Troy Weaver, who helped recruit Anthony when he was an assistant coach at Syracuse (Twitter link).
  • The trade establishes the Thunder as the greatest threat to the Warriors’ dominance in the West, writes Dieter Kurtenbach of The San Jose Mercury News. He sees Anthony stepping into a much better role as a complementary stretch four in Oklahoma City, rather than a primary scorer in New York. OKC added free agent Patrick Patterson this summer and re-signed defensive ace Andre Roberson and may now have the pieces to challenge Golden State in a seven-game series.
  • ESPN’s Kevin Pelton graded the deal, giving the Thunder an A and the Knicks a D. Kanter and McDermott were both defensive liabilities, Pelton states, and the new alignment gives Oklahoma City a small-ball lineup that matches up much better with the Warriors. The Knicks didn’t take on any long-term contracts, but they also didn’t fill any pressing needs unless McDermott develops into a reliable wing scorer. Pelton expects New York to explore the trade market for Kanter before the February deadline.
  • Oklahoma City used two key pieces from the Bulls to pull off today’s deal, and Chicago doesn’t have much in return, writes Scott Krinch of CSNChicago. McDermott and the 2018 second-rounder that was shipped to the Knicks both came to OKC in a February trade that sent Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow to the Bulls. Lauvergne and Morrow left as free agents over the offseason, and Payne will miss three to four months after foot surgery.
  • Kanter posted a message on Twitter, thanking the fans and management in Oklahoma City and saying, “Please beat the Warriors for me.”

Pat Riley Talks Wade, Roster, Whiteside, Richardson

While a buyout for Dwyane Wade is a popular topic of speculation around the NBA this fall, Heat president Pat Riley declined today to say whether his club would have interest in Wade as a free agent. Speaking to reporters, Riley praised Wade extensively and reminisced about the first championship the future Hall-of-Famer won with the franchise, but was careful to avoid tampering with a player under contract with the Bulls, wishing Wade the best in Chicago.

Wade was just one topic of discussion today for Riley, who also said that the Heat’s roster is set for training camp at 19 players, with he and Erik Spoelstra feeling as if it wasn’t necessary to fill that 20th and final spot. Riley also made a few other comments worth passing along, so with the help of Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, we’ll round up some of those comments below. Be sure to check out Jackson’s piece for even more from Riley.

Let’s dive in…

On the fact that there are no All-Stars on the Heat’s roster:

“There were only 12 All-Stars in the Eastern Conference last year. We felt there were players last year who had All-Star years [on the Heat] but they weren’t selected. We have stars on our team but they’re not considered that.

“I respect the fact Kevin Durant gave us an audience when we went to the Hamptons to talk to him [in July 2016]. I felt we were a long shot. The same thing happened with Gordon Hayward [this past summer]. If we have the opportunity, we will always continue to pursue a player of that ability to come here. We made the decision to stay with this team. I like this team. … We are way ahead of a rebuilding cycle. We are one step away from being a very good team. One step away could be the collective effort of an ensemble cast, or one step away could be a move to bring a player here.”

On expectations for Hassan Whiteside:

“If he wants to achieve the goals he talks about in the media, and puts out on social media, which are great, great goals — to be Defensive Player of the Year and make the All-Defensive Team and be respected. Those are things you must bring every single night [and you] must bring every single day in the offseason. H is on the road to achieving some of those goals. He wants to win. He appreciates the team and his teammates around him. That kind of growth has come slowly but it’s there. We’re expecting a great year out of Hassan and we need a great year out of Hassan.”

On Josh Richardson‘s extension:

“He’s a prototype contemporary player and he’s young. … When you take a look at player value, there are a lot intangibles you have to look at. We didn’t want him to go in the open market next year and coming off a great year, having to match some crazy contract. If the average salary in the NBA is close to $9-10MM, that’s where a lot of these guys are falling. When these words come out of my mouth, $8MM or $9MM as the average salary, if I’m a player in this league, I am saying to myself, ‘I am going to stay straight, be right, do whatever I can to have a 10-year career in this league and set up my family for life.’ We felt he was worth it and we expect great things from him.”

On being happy with the team’s current point guard depth:

“If we didn’t feel comfortable with Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson and Dion Waiters, then we would have gotten a veteran with 10, 12 years in the league. We don’t feel like we need that. If we did, it would have been easy for us to acquire that type of player.”

Paxson Reiterates Bulls’ Willingness To Negotiate Buyout With Wade

While Dwyane Wade is expected to open the regular season with the Bulls, a buyout remains a strong possibility at some point during the league year. Asked today during an appearance on WSCR 670 AM in Chicago about that possibility, Bulls executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson reiterated that the club is willing to discuss a buyout with Wade.

“We’ve talked to his representatives,” Paxson said, per Cody Westerlund of 670TheScore.com (Twitter link). “[Bulls GM] Gar [Forman]‘s been on the phone with his guy several times in the last few weeks. So some dialogue is going on. We haven’t heard directly from Dwyane. But we understand where he is at this time of his career. We’re more than willing to work with him.”

Although Paxson stressed that the rebuilding Bulls are happy to work something out with the veteran guard, he also repeated a sentiment he expressed in June — in order a buyout to get done, it would have to be advantageous for the Bulls.

“It can’t be something the player wins because that’s what he wants. We have to do what’s in our best interest,” Paxson said. “We want to work with Dwyane because we respect [him] very much. If he doesn’t want to be here, then we want to do [a buyout]. But again, the bottom line is always – and it has to be – that we have to do what’s in our best interest.”

The Bulls remain well below the salary floor at this point, so it’s not as if the club needs to save money in negotiations with Wade in order to put that money toward another signing. However, as K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune notes (via Twitter), if Wade gives a certain amount of his salary back, it could allow the Bulls to re-sign Nikola Mirotic and still have enough cap space to go out and acquire an unwanted contract in a trade, getting a young player or a pick as a sweetener for their willingness to take on salary.

Wade is currently on track to earn $23.8MM in 2017/18. We’ll see whether he’s open to giving up a significant portion of that money to hit the free agent market sooner rather than later, or if he’s happy to play out the majority of the season in Chicago, eventually forcing the team’s hand.

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