Dwyane Wade signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bulls and holds a player option for the second but the three-time champion may not be too keen on being the only All-Star on a fringe playoff team.
The 35-year-old said earlier this season he is not interested in sticking around if the team attempts a full-scale rebuild and likely will not stay in his hometown Chicago if star team-mate Jimmy Butler is traded.
Naturally, Wade wants to know what the Bulls’ plan is before deciding to use his player option following their 4-2 first-round series loss to the Boston Celtics.
“They want a defined vision and view of where they’re going too. And as players, with player options, you want that too,” Wade told reporters on Saturday. “I want it smack dead in my face of how it’s gonna be, what their thought of my role or position could be here — all of it. I respect [Bulls general manager Gar Forman and vice president John Paxson] from the relationship I’ve been able to develop with those guys.
“Whether there are a lot of options [elsewhere in the league] or not, I’m in a very good situation. As a player, you can decide what you want to do. And I have a lot of money to decide if I want to take it or not. It’s not a bad thing because I worked my butt off for it over my career, so no rush in my mind. I’ve got at least a month before my mind starts going there. I’m just going to get away and let my hair grow a little bit, get a tan.”
Wade’s decision must come before July 1 – start of NBA free agency – and it’s not out of the question he returns to Miami, who tied the Bulls at 41-41 for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference despite a terrible start to the season.
The Heat could have nearly $37m in cap space available this offseason.
“I only played in one organisation my entire career, but the biggest thing is I came here and I was embraced. not only by the city, by up top,” Wade said of the Bulls. “I was embraced by the coaches, the players, and it was some good moments and some bad moments, just like every season. But I don’t regret my decision at all.
“Losing, like I said, it’s never easy, especially when you’ve won championships before. Whenever you lose it always sucks, but you sit back and reflect on the positive, you look at the things that came out of it, and there’s always some good, more than bad. When you’re playing basketball for money at the top level, it’s not all bad. I definitely don’t regret my decision of being here this season.”
Before signing with the Bulls this season, Wade was also linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards.