A Thursday morning MRI has revealed that Dwyane Wade suffered both a sprain and minor fracture to his right elbow in the second half of the Bulls’ loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last night, and as a result Wade will miss the remainder of the NBA season.
Wade attempted to play through the injury briefly in the fourth quarter before being taken out with a little over eight minutes remaining. He was then seen sporting a sling on his right arm in the locker room post-game and gave grim answers to reporters that indicated something greater was wrong than initially expected.
Wade’s season comes to a dissapointing end on a variety of fronts. While he did—barely—have his best 3-PT shooting season since he led the NBA in scoring in 2008-09 and was on pace to play in at least 70 games prior to this injury, Father Prime still posted his lowest ppg total since his rookie season (18.6) and shot the worst percentage of his career overall (43.4%). Wade is set to make $23.8 million from the Bulls next season if he opts to accept his player option, but this injury certainly murks up whatever his basketball plans for the near future may be.
In terms of how this affects the Bulls’ rotation, your guess is as good as mine given how wildly sporadic and unpredictable Fred Hoiberg has been with his rotations all year. Jimmy Butler could move back to shooting guard and Paul Zipser could be thrust into the starting lineup, or perhaps we will see Jerian Grant make a return to the rotation given he’s the closest match the Bulls have to a 2-guard of the assortment of point guards they have. Whatever happens, Wade’s on-court prescence and playmaking will certainly be missed by the whole team, and given the downward trajectory of the team lately, the Bulls are almost certainly out of the running for the playoffs with this loss.