Dwyane Wade to Sign with Chicago Bulls

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2015, file photo, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) looks up during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta. Wade took to Twitter on Monday, May 2, 2016, after hearing Prince’s comment in a 2012 Australian radio interview that he was the late pop icon's favorite player. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland, File)
Todd Kirkland/Associated Press

Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and has reached a decision on where he'll play next. 

Continue for updates.

Wade Announces Decision to Sign With Bulls 

Wednesday, July 6

Wade released a statement Wednesday confirming he intends to sign with the Bulls, via Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:

This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family. Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player. My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game.

The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski noted, "Acrimony over contract talks – and a feeling that the Heat no longer appreciated him – fueled Wade’s decision to leave Wednesday, league sources said."

The deal is for two years and $47.5 million, according to Wojnarowski, who added there is a player option included for the second year. 

Wade Meets with Heat Owner

Wednesday, July 6

Zach Lowe of ESPN.com reported Wade's meeting with Heat owner Micky Arison has ended. 

According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a source said the Heat "might not be able to move [Josh] McRoberts to clear Wade space unless a pick or [Justise] Winslow [is] included." 

Winderman noted the meeting with Wade "did not lead to overwhelming optimism or pessimism." 

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, citing sources, reported Arison was "hoping to smooth things over" with Wade during the meeting.

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Wojnarowski noted that a meeting with Arison was perhaps the only thing that stood between Wade and a departure from Miami.

Bucks Reportedly Not Expected to Land Wade

Wednesday, July 6

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported the Milwaukee Bucks are not expected to sign Wade, as their salary situation has not changed. 

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported Bucks owner Marc Lasry met with Wade in New York, citing league sources. Wade's meeting lasted an hour and he "spoke highly of young talent" on the Bucks, per Gardner.

Turner Sports Analyst David Aldridge reported the Bucks believe Wade is "very serious" about joining them but noted they can't offer as much money as Miami or Denver without trading players for draft picks.

On Tuesday, Windhorst reported that Wade had "canceled some free-agent meetings with teams he'd set up with this week." Lowe added that the Bucks were among those teams.

Stein reported July 3 that the Bucks had scheduled a meeting with Wade after the Fourth of July holiday.

Nuggets Complete Meeting with Wade

Wednesday, July 6

Wojnarowski reported the Nuggets and Wade completed a two-and-a-half hour meeting in New York on Wednesday. Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post added the team was very happy with how the meeting went.

On Tuesday, the Nuggets offered Wade a two-year deal worth "north of $50 million," according to Stein, who added that Denver is "hopeful" he will accept. The proposal tops Miami's by more than $10 million, per Stein.

Wade to Meet with Cavs Despite Limited Cap Space in Cleveland

Tuesday, July 5

Wade and the Cleveland Cavaliers "are expected to talk soon," according to Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com.

Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald reported that Wade "joining LeBron James in Cleveland is an option." However, Windhorst later reported there is "no traction" between Wade and the Cavaliers. On SportsCenter, Windhorst said Wade going to the Cavaliers is a "pipe dream," via Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post.

Skolnick categorized Wade's chances of joining the Cavaliers as a "'long shot' due to the economics," adding that the Cavaliers cannot offer "anything other than the taxpayer mid-level...($3.48 million), which would be a huge reduction in pay."

Another option for the Cavaliers, according to Skolnick, would be if James took a "historically large cut." Ultimately, it will come down to if he puts a bigger value on winning and friendship or getting the most money possible, per Skolnick.

However, Aldridge noted that James would not take the veteran minimum to help the Cavs make a move for Wade "under any circumstances." Skolnick added James is not actively recruiting Wade.

Wade's Contract Demands Reportedly Revealed

Tuesday, July 5

According to Windhorst, Wade's representatives "have told teams that the All-Star is seeking a deal around $50 million over two years." Windhorst added that the Nuggets and Bulls "continue to be in talks with Wade."

Wade's Relationship with Heat Reportedly Strained

Tuesday, July 5

Skolnick reported that "Wade and the Heat are not on great terms. That is coming from both sides. 'Ugly' has been the common descriptor." Skolnick added that Wade wants a third season in his contract.

On Monday, Dan Le Batard of ESPN reported the Heat offered Wade a two-year, $40 million offer with a player option for the second year. Reynolds of the Associated Press confirmed the offer.

On June 29, citing sources, Windhorst reported Wade's "initial contract discussions" with the franchise that drafted him in 2003 "have not produced a common ground between the parties." Windhorst added that "Wade's representatives have made it known to multiple teams over the last several days that he will be on the market."

Wade Reportedly Cancels Multiple Meetings

Tuesday, July 5

Windhorst reported that Wade "has canceled some free-agent meetings with teams he'd set up with this week." Lowe added that the Milwaukee Bucks are among those teams.

On Sunday, Stein reported that the Bucks had scheduled a meeting with Wade after the Fourth of July holiday.

Knicks Reportedly Were Interested in Wade

Sunday, July 3

Windhorst reported on Friday that the New York Knicks were having contract discussions with Wade and could meet with him next week. Windhorst noted that the Knicks "are in the market for a shooting guard and Wade has Milwaukee ties from [his] time at Marquette."

However, after the Knicks reportedly signed Courtney Lee to a four-year contract on Saturday, the New York Post's Marc Berman cited an "NBA source familiar with the Knicks' situation" when reporting that "the notion [the Knicks] had a shot at Wade is 'so ridiculous.'"

Wade Reportedly Weighing Multiple Offers

Friday, July 1

Wojnarowski reported the "Dallas Mavericks, Nuggets and Bucks have started a courtship process that has included offers in length of two and three years and upward of $20 million a season – a salary the Heat so far have been reluctant to offer, league sources said."

"Rival teams starting to take Wade's free agency seriously, [with] GM's telling The Vertical they've made multiyear offers to his reps," tweeted Wojnarowski.

On June 29, Wade's representatives sent out "feelers" to a few teams regarding their interest in the shooting guard, and two teams in particular are the Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs, reported ESPN's Brian Windhorst during an appearance on ESPN 790 AM (via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports).

HBO's Bill Simmons tweeted: "Keep hearing that the Bucks are making a stealth play for D-Wade. He needs one team to offer him four years for big bucks for Miami leverage."

Wade Finds Better Contract with Rising Salary Cap

As Windhorst noted, Wade and the Heat encountered a stalemate in contract discussions last summer after the three-time champion opted out of the remaining year and $16.1 million on his deal.

At the time, the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reported Wade was "open to considering other teams this summer if the Heat [do] not raise [their] offer."

Miami eventually increased its proposal, and Wade inked a one-year pact worth $20 million.

Now 34 years old, Wade capitalized on the league's rapidly rising salary cap, which is expected to clock in around $94 million, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.

Though the 12-time All-Star averaged a solid 19 points, 4.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 30.5 minutes per game last season, he'll turn 35 in January.

The Heat had to be conscious of tying up wads of cash in a veteran who has played 70 games or more just once over the past five seasons.

That said, Wade is the greatest player in the franchise's history, and it's rather shocking to see him bolt for a new team over a pay dispute.

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