Dwyane Wade Reportedly 'Assured' Bulls Would Be Competitive Before Opting In

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2017

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Chicago Bulls shoots the ball against the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quartefinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dwyane Wade's relationship with the Chicago Bulls may be on thin ice.

According to HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy on Wednesday, Wade reportedly has grown frustrated with Bulls brass because he received "assurances from the front office that it would field a competitive team" before he opted into his $23.8 million player option for the 2017-18 season. 

Wade made the call to see out his tenure in the Windy City on June 20. Two days later, on draft night, the Bulls shipped Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a move that signaled they were clearly rebuilding. 

Now, Kennedy reports it would be an "understatement" to say Wade's relationship with the front office is "strained." 

Kennedy added Wade "hasn't spoken to anyone in the Bulls' front office" since Butler was shipped out of town in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen. 

Not surprisingly, Wade has reportedly emerged as a legitimate buyout candidate in advance of the regular season. 

On Aug. 17, ESPN.com's Nick Friedell wrote Wade "isn't expected to be long for the organization's future, as nobody would be surprised if he decided not to stick around for a season in the tank and instead chooses to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months."

Friedell also noted while buyout discussions have yet to be initiated, "the widespread belief within the organization" is that the two sides will come to terms on an agreement that opens the door for the 35-year-old to pursue a job with a title contender. 

The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reported Monday that an associate of Wade's has mentioned the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers as potential destinations that could intrigue the 12-time All-Star on the buyout market. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers are also expected to make a play for Wade should he secure a buyout. 

Appearing on the Wine and Gold Talk podcast, Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon (h/t NBC Sports' Dan Feldman) said those connected to LeBron James—a close friend of Wade's—believe he will sign with the defending Eastern Conference champions at some point this season. 

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