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Report: Dwyane Wade ‘leaning’ towards opt-in regardless of Butler/Bulls direction

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get that money

2017 NBA Finals - Game Four Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dwyane Wade has a week remaining to decide on his over $24m player option for the 2017-18 season. All logic indicates he’ll take that contract, and here’s the latest from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com:

While Wade is monitoring the situation with Butler and how the Bulls approach this week's NBA draft, sources indicated that he's leaning toward picking up his player option regardless of what the Bulls do in the next week.

It was humorously speculated that part of the reason the Bulls would leak that they’re moving Butler is to coax Wade into leaving what would potentially be a ‘rebuilding’ team. While reportedly Wade would not be interested in such a situation, the situation still includes playing in his hometown and making twenty-four million dollars to do so. Besides, if you’re Wade you can reason that you get the money first and then can always try to get the Bulls to trade you to a better team later.

(to get ahead of this question: nope, Wade cannot legally be traded before he makes a decision on the option. It’d have to be after he picked it up)

This Wade contract is yet another example of the Bulls playing themselves, touting ‘flexibility’ all along yet giving the player the actual power. And that’s not even factoring in the on-court performance of Wade limiting the team there. Remember when this goofy signing was done, and there was a theory that not only would Wade be worth the money he’d help recruit his famous friends to join him this summer?

Back to the mentioned ‘Butler situation’, rumors heated up Monday afternoon with no less than three teams (that weren’t even Boston) linked to acquiring the Bulls one good player. KC Johnson followed up that night with a note that shows how serious things are:

The Butler situation commanded enough attention for the Bulls to hold an internal meeting on his future, sources said. And unlike last June, the organization appears aligned on its Butler stance — that it would move the three-time All-Star but only if its rightfully high asking price is met.

Oh man, they may actually be doing work!

The Cavaliers were one of the teams interested in Butler, and the big league-wide news last night was them parting ways with their GM ( who was actually successful and maker of good moves), David Griffin.

It’s unclear whether Griffin’s pursuit of Butler was congruent with ownership or one of the reasons for the falling out. The falling-out could’ve been entirely about compensation and power and nothing to do with their particular team direction.

One final note from KC Johnson: for a team potentially drafting in the top-10 if they dealt Butler, it’s been conspicuous that there’d been no report of the Bulls working out players in that range. But now, Johnson says “they've done recent work on Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox”. Fox is certainly projected as the type of ‘downhill’ point guard Paxson meandered over after the season.