Updating a previous story, Dwyane Wade has indeed signed a one-year contract to officially join the Cleveland Cavaliers and reunite with LeBron James. General Manager Koby Altman had this to say about the signing:
“We’re extremely happy that Dwyane chose to join us in Cleveland and become a core part of helping us achieve success at the highest level,” said Altman. “Dwyane has proven time and time again that he is a leader and competitor of the highest caliber and that his focus is centered on the ultimate goal. The deep commitment and consistency that he has shown to the game as a 12-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Champion is remarkable and he’s going to be a difference maker on the court and in the locker room with our team.”
Wade spent his entire career with the Miami Heat before spending this latest season with the Chicago Bulls. When the Bulls went into fire sale mode this offseason, it became clear they would buy out his contract.
When the Bulls and Wade finally reached an agreement to buy out Wade’s contract, most assumed he would eventually reunite with James and sign with the Cavaliers. That didn’t stop rumors from swirling. Wade was linked to the San Antonio Spurs, Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, but it seems the assumptions were correct as it appears Wade is close to signing with the Cavs.
Per the ESPN report:
Wade, who agreed to a contract buyout with Chicago, will clear waivers on Wednesday and become an unrestricted free agent. Wade has been intrigued by the idea of rejoining LeBron James on the Cavaliers. Wade and James are longtime friends and won two championships and made four trips to the NBA Finals as teammates on with the Miami Heat.
Wade, 35, is eligible to sign a one-year, $2.3 million veterans minimum contract with the Cavaliers.
Wade had considered the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Heat, league sources said. Wade hasn’t ruled out the idea of a future return to Miami, but his desire to join a contender outweighed the sentiment of a Heat reunion, league sources said. Wade has reconciled his Miami relationships after a difficult free-agent parting in 2016, sources said.
Wade gives the Cavs veteran leadership and another scorer to take the load off LeBron when he goes to the bench. The Cavs were not a deep team in 2016 and it showed in the NBA Finals. They have completely changed that this offseason. The Cavs are not only the frontrunners to side Wade, but they also brought in former MVP Derrick Rose. Once the entire team is healthy, they will have a nice compliment of players who can get their own shot,
Some might say Wade has lost a step, but he still averaged 18 points per game with the Bulls last season. His championship pedigree and scoring ability are obvious matches with this Cavs squad that has made the NBA Finals in three consecutive seasons. You could definitely make the argument that adding Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade to replace Kyrie Irving makes them better than a year ago. I guess time will tell.