It’s surely the worst-kept secret in the NBA, but Dwyane Wade is expected to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers as soon as he can.
As the Chicago Bulls moved toward a rebuild this offseason, a buyout for Dwyane Wade became inevitable. It finally came to fruition over the weekend, with Wade reportedly leaving $8 million of the $23.8 million he was due on the table.
Immediately upon news of the buyout, the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers emerged as the teams with the most interest in Wade. The Cavaliers are the obvious front runner, due to Wade’s friendship with LeBron James, their successful past playing together in Miami and the likelihood Wade would only want the minimum contract he can take to sign with Cleveland.
At Cavaliers’ media day on Monday, James was clearly open to the idea of the team signing Wade. It feels like a foregone conclusion, but Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported Wade is “leaning heavily” toward signing with the Cavaliers and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has added a timeline for the decision.
Wade will officially clear waivers on Wednesday, so his decision should come soon regardless of where he goes. After a crazy, unpredictable NBA offseason, Wade’s signing with the Cavaliers to play with James again feels like a formality. But until he officially signs on the dotted line and has a press conference with a Cavaliers’ curtain behind him, nothing can be ruled out.
Injuries and age have hampered Wade in recent years. But he did average 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game, on 43.4 percent shooting, over 60 games for the Bulls last season. So he’s still a functional scorer, at minimum, and with Isaiah Thomas (hip) to miss the start of the regular season Wade looks likely to be an important piece for the Cavaliers right out of the gate.