If you did not already hear, the Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade reached a buyout for close to $15 million (via Woj). So who blinked first?
Wade now has $15 million to not play for the Bulls. That means that he can take a mid-level exception of up to $3.5 and still make close to the $20 million that he originally wanted last summer. He also now has the ability to play for a contender and try to win one more championship.
The Bulls saved $8 million with the buy-out and can now fully enter the rebuild. With the extra $8 million saved, they also locked up Nikola Mirotic for another two years. The youth movement for the Bulls has started, and now they can develop their young talent.
So who blinked?
The Bulls managed to save $8 million of Wade’s guaranteed money. They also have the roster space now to build, but unfortunately Wade won this deal. Wade now has the freedom to add to his career and help build a championship contending team.
The $8 million that they were able to negotiate is nice, but the $15 million that they still have to pay only benefits Wade.
Wade already has numerous teams interested in his services. Numerous reports are suggesting that the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, his old home town Miami Heat, and the new super-team Oklahoma City Thunder are all interested in the 12-time All-Star.
Miami has the emotional connection. Cleveland has LeBron and the easiest path to the Finals of all the teams. San Antonio has the Popovich effect. Oklahoma City has that new super team smell with his friend in Carmelo Anthony, Paul George on a contract year, and MVP Russell Westbrook.
Cleveland and Miami also have the fact that the East is a weaker conference working for them (his chances of being a 13 time All-Star grow significantly higher in the East).
Wade now holds his future in his hands, and thanks to this buy-out he can take a significant pay cut to join whatever team he wants. The Chicago Bulls blinked.