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Carmelo Anthony trade fuels speculation on Wade buyout

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Could Wade join the Oklahoma City Thunder and play with his friend, Carmelo Anthony?

Miami Heat v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

In his pre-season press conference Friday, Pat Riley avoided any direct discussion on a possible reunion with Dwyane Wade, who is still under contract with the Chicago Bulls. But he gushed about Wade, saying that he is “absolutely ... in love” with the best player in Miami Heat franchise history.

But now, a blockbuster trade before training camp may have shaken the landscape for Wade if he negotiates a buyout with the Bulls and becomes a free agent.

Carmelo Anthony, a friend of Wade’s, will join Russell Westbrook and Paul George in Oklahoma City. And that has fueled speculation that the three-time NBA champion will join the Thunder as a sixth man.

As I’ve reported here before, Wade wants to play for a championship contender. Playing 20-25 minutes per game at a high level may be the best situation for the 2006 NBA Finals MVP — offering championship experience without having lots of demands. Remember, Wade had a superb 2008 Olympics run as a sixth man.

Just a few days ago, no one thought that Wade would want to go the Thunder after a buyout. Now, it’s looking plausible. Just goes to show how quickly things change in the NBA.