With several teams vying for the services of Dwyane Wade after he reached a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls before training camp, it’s being reported by ESPN that he will indeed be re-teaming with good friend LeBron James and will sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers once he clears waivers.
Dwyane Wade plans to sign with Cleveland once he clears waivers on Wednesday, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 26, 2017
With a $4.3 million mid-level exception still available, the Miami Heat could have offered the All-Star guard the most money from the teams that were reportedly in the running for him, including the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Cavaliers. Ultimately, the chance at joining forces with his former teammate to make another run at a championship was the most appealing option.
Several Heat players, including Heat Lifer and captain Udonis Haslem as well as Dion Waiters, heavily lobbied for Wade all summer long to return to the Heat as he was expected to reach a buyout agreement with Chicago at some point after they traded away Jimmy Butler and began their rebuilding process.
Miami is loaded in the backcourt, and has committed a significant amount of money to several of them, with starters Goran Dragic and Waiters joined by Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, and Wayne Ellington. Despite that, there remains the fact that none of the players on the Heat roster have ever been named to an All-Star team.
Last week, Heat president Pat Riley was asked about the possibility of a reunion with Wade while he was still negotiating the terms of his buyout.
"I feel great about our relationship that we had over the 13 years,” Riley said at the time. “Anything that happens from a personnel standpoint down the road or any opportunities that are there, we're always going to approach that. But right now he's under contract with Chicago and I wish him the very best."
Wade will clear waivers on Wednesday and officially become an unrestricted free agent, at which point he will sign with the Cavs. He reportedly forfeited $8 million from his $23.8 million salary due for the 2017-18 season to the Bulls in order to be released.
The question now is whether Wade, at 35, will one day return to the Heat to retire, or even if the team is receptive to the idea. From ESPN:
Wade hasn't ruled out the idea of a future return to Miami, but his desire to join a contender overtook 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 can sign a one-year, $2.3 million veterans minimum contract to join the Cavaliers.