Miami announced the move, noting the Cavaliers received a protected 2024 second-round pick for Wade.
Per ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, Wade had been wanting to return to Miami, and Cleveland's coaching staff was considering reducing his playing time.
LeBron James shared a message about Wade returning to Miami on Instagram:
Wade said he found out about the trade when his agent, Leon Rose, texted him "call me 911," per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:
“So if you get a text like that and the trade deadline is coming up and you know the team that you’re on is going to be very active, you know something is going down with you. And my mind went right to, ‘No, it’s not Miami. There’s no way.’ My mind went right to that because I felt like that’s the only other place I can be.”
Cleveland general manager Koby Altman is doing everything in his power to rebuild his roster on the fly. Wojnarowski reported the Cavs are getting George Hill from the Sacramento Kings and Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz as part of a three-team deal that sent Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to Utah.
Per Wojnarowski, Iman Shumpert is also going to Sacramento. The Cavs also acquired Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and their 2018 first-round pick, per The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor.
Wade has been a part-time player off the bench for the Cavs this season. The 36-year-old was already averaging a career-low 23.2 minutes per game, so scaling back his minutes even more would have made it difficult for him to have any impact on Cleveland's playoff pursuit.
Even on a per-36-minute basis, Wade is averaging his fewest points (17.3) since his rookie season in 2003-04, per Basketball Reference.
The Cavaliers accommodated Wade's reported desire to go back to where he spent the first 13 seasons of his NBA career. He's one of the top players in Heat history, and he'll now join a team that is chasing a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 29-26 record.