Dwyane Wade reportedly is going to reach a buyout agreement with his hometown Chicago Bulls in the next few months after the organization decided to begin their rebuilding process, according to sources.
This means the 12-time All-Star will soon become a free agent, and he will have a few options.
I could see Wade end up in one of three places. He could return home to Miami and close out his career with the Heat in a fairytale ending. He could head slightly east to Cleveland with his buddy LeBron in attempts to win a title through the East, or he could come down south to Houston, where his buddy Chris Paul now plays and where 2003 draftmate Carmelo Anthony has a chance to be in a few months.
If Wade comes and the Melo trade happens, that means three-fourths of the Banana Boat Express would be in Houston, and of course, with LeBron James’s free agency approaching next summer, the Banana Boat may just end up in Houston after all for one last hurrah.
Wade would want to come to Houston for a few reasons. I think his main reason would be to join a championship contender. The Rockets have legitimate title hopes next season, with or without Wade and Anthony. D-Wade averaged 18.6 PPG last season, and although he would be relegated to a bench role, he would be a solid contributor on a loaded bench for the Rockets. Put him with Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute and Nene, and you probably have the best bench in the NBA by a country mile.
Secondly, his friend CP3 is down here. I think Chris Paul will do his best to try and recruit Wade to come to Houston in an attempt to win his fourth ring. This could be Wade’s final chance to contend as he turns 36 in January.
The downside to coming to Houston is that he would have to take a significant pay cut to play for Houston as the Rockets already have their back against the wall when it comes to cap space. Houston probably will not be able to afford both Anthony and Wade, but if the Anthony trade talks go south and evaporate, Wade is not a terrible consolation prize.
However, with a buyout looming, he will probably have to take a paycut anywhere he goes. Wade is projected to make $23.8 million this upcoming season. He is not going to accept a veterans’ minimum. The Rockets would likely have to ship out Ryan Anderson and hope Wade will take a significant paycut. It is not impossible that he does that because he did it before when LeBron took his talents to South Beach, but I would not count on him taking peanuts. He has very little basketball left in him and he might want to try and make as much money as he can, given that he has already made many financial sacrifices in his career.
That’s why I think Miami is the most likeliest destination for him. He could probably make the most money down in South Beach, and a finish in Miami would be a perfect ending for a Hall of Fame career. Cleveland also makes sense but with all the uncertainty going on with the Cavaliers, the Rockets are a solid contender for Wade if he wants to choose championship over cash.