With the veteran shooting guard opting into his $ 23.8-million player option for 2017-18, the Bulls will need to pay a fair portion of Wade’s remaining contract in order to buy him out, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Crowely.
While a buy-out is expected to come at some point, allowing the Bulls to fully enter their rebuilding phase and letting Wade chase his fourth championship elsewhere, the veteran guard hasn’t directly requested a buy-out from the team.
The market for the 12-time All-Star seems to have cooled, as age continues to creep up on the future Hall of Famer. His old team, the Miami Heat, reportedly had interest in signing Wade to a $ 4.3-million exception if he was willing to come off the bench. He’s also been tied to the Cavaliers, where former Heat running-mate and longtime friend LeBron James still rules the roost.
Either way, Wade’s days as a primary, high-usage scorer in the NBA may have come to an end. He scored 18.3 points per game in his lone season in Chicago, but shot just 43.4 percent, including 31 percent on 3-pointers. A move to a lower impact role is inevitable as he closes in on 36 years old, so it would make sense for Wade to hold out for as much of his final eight-figure payday as he can get.