Dwyane Wade has a big decision to make this summer. He has a $23.8 million player option next season to remain with the Chicago Bulls. However, he is keeping all of his options open and a reunion with LeBron James or a return to Miami is possible.
In his exit interview with Bulls front office executives, Wade said that he going to think all about his options for next season. He noted that he wants to stay in Chicago but the team has to very definitive about their plans. On the other hand, he also brought up the possibility of chasing his fourth NBA championship.
"There's so many different variables that come into play, especially for me at this point in my career. Like I said, I have a great luxury. I don't need to ring-chase, but I can. It's a great luxury to have if I want to do. Or I can be a part of passing down my knowledge to younger players. It's either way," Wade said, via ESPN.
The 35-year-old legend is already past his prime but he is still a serviceable player for contenders or a leader for an up-and-coming team. The Bulls are neither and they need to make a decision if they are going finally start rebuilding or continue surrounding Jimmy Butler with talent.
"Myself, Gar (Forman), Pax (John Paxson), once they get all their information together, in the sense of direction of where they see the organization going, and who they see as a part of it, etcetera. Just sit down and go from there," Wade added.
Many people though that Wade might have played his last game with the Bulls when he suffered an elbow injury in mid-March. However, he returned earlier than expected and help Chicago make the playoffs after missing it last year.
The Bulls were very impressive in the first two games of their first-round matchup against the Boston Celtics. Wade and company had a 2-0 lead but they failed to capitalize on it. The Bulls eventually lost the next four games and they got eliminated 4-2.
Besides staying in Chicago where he will be earning the most money, Wade has two more options next season. He could "ring chase" and sign with the Cavaliers to reunite with James. The two superstars were teammates in Miami for four seasons where they won two NBA titles together.
According to Quenton Albertie of King James Gospel, Wade has to take a massive pay cut in order to sign with Cleveland. He would make $23.8 million if he stays in Chicago but he won't make anywhere near that money if he joins the Cavaliers.
However, Wade would have the chance to win his fourth NBA championship and cement his legacy as the third-greatest shooting guard of all-time. On the other hand, he could also come "home" to Miami and finish his career there.
Hot Hot Hoops of SB Nation reported that the Heat might offer Wade a three-year, $18 million deal to return to Miami. It's a fair contract for Wade, who is already 35 years old and he is not as productive as he used to be. The Heat barely made the playoffs and they could have used Wade's presence to pull it off.
"It allows him to cut back his minutes and slide gracefully into a more limited role. No one wants Wade to be the next old man Kobe. Hopefully, Wade can envision himself in a venerated Manu Ginobili role while also seeing what reduced workload has done to keep Vince Carter playing meaningful minutes in April year after year," the SB Nation report noted.
Wade is one of the greatest players of his generation and surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer. It's up to him and the Bulls' plans to decide what's next for him. Fans should also know that Wade's time on the court is ticking and he's going to retire in a couple of years.