So in Chicago, there is a bit of a staring contest going on between the Chicago Bulls
and Dwyane Wade. The Bulls signed Wade to a 1+1 year contract, with the plus one
being a player option.
Then, the Bulls decided they no longer wanted to the team that they had a year ago and traded away Jimmy Butler and released Rajan Rondo (as well as trading away McDermott and Taj Gibson earlier in the season).
The problem is, they decided this right after Wade agreed to come back for his extra year. Now the Bulls and Wade both want a buyout so that Wade isn’t a member of the 2017
team. However, the Bulls don’t want to pay Wade the money that he is guaranteed,
and Wade doesn’t want to take a pay cut. Who blinks first?
For the Bulls side, you have to take a look at what they are trying to do. They want to get
younger and go into a rebuilding stage with Fred Hoidberg. Basically, they have two
They can keep Wade and sell his jersey and hope he gets an All-Star bid to keep ticket sales up. Or they can reach a buyout with him for the price that they want and call this year a wash. (Fun fact: if you haven’t noticed the Eastern conference is terrible this year, so they might even get into the playoffs. It’s a long shot, but that could still happen.)
Chicago could try to hold out and hope that this season is the train wreck that they
want it to be, so that Wade takes the pay cut and leaves to go play on a contending team.
This would probably be the best scenario for the Bulls, because they would get half a season of Wade to boost ticket/jersey sales and still keep that lottery pick. The worse scenario for the Bulls would be if they happened to win enough games to contend for a playoff spot in the East, but come up just short.
Their draft pick wouldn’t be nearly as good, and they would still have to pay Wade the full amount of his contract.
For Wade’s side, you have to look at where he is in his career so far. He is a three-time champion, he just left Miami where he spent his entire career, and is now on the tail end of his career.
We know he would like to play for a contender. We also know that his old buddy LeBron could use some help right now. We are also sure that he wants to get as much of his contract money from the Bulls as possible, so he feels comfortable in taking a pay cut and complete his needs of playing on a contending team. (Boston perhaps?)
The perfect scenario for Wade is easy. The Bulls pay him at least 20 million of his guaranteed money before the season starts, and he leaves Chicago to go win a title (or lose to the Warriors) with a different team. That’s easy to figure out.
The worse case scenario is a little harder to find. There are a lot of ways in which this goes bad for Wade. One of the worst scenarios would be the Bulls refusing to pay more than 10 million, and the market drying up for a 35 year old shooting guard with a history of injury problems. The chances of that happening are slim.
The worse case scenario is the Bulls refusing to pay more than 12 million, and he ends up on a team coming off the bench for the minimum. All indications show that Wade still thinks he can be a starter on a good team or at the very least a 6th man with a lot of fourth quarter minutes.
There’s also the situation where the Bulls decide to keep him for the full year. He wastes a year of his career on a mediocre team. In this scenario he would get to keep the full amount he is owed, but nobody really knows how many more years Wade has left
in the tank.
That seems like too steep of a price and Wade would have to start bending a lot more on his Chicago discount. Whichever scenario ends up happening, one thing is clear. Both parties do need a buyout. The Bulls can’t focus on their younger talent with Wade on the roster, and Wade can’t chase another championship on this Bulls roster.
As a NBA fan living in Chicago and as a huge Wade fan, this past year was fun (and yes I did go out and get my jersey). However, it’s time for the two parties to separate.
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