Multiple Bulls beat writers confirmed Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago’s report from late Tuesday afternoon* that Wade informed the Bulls that he will pick up his contract option for the 2017-18 season for $23.8m.
It was reported not even a day ago that Wade was leaning this way regardless of what the Bulls do this offseason.
It’s...not a good contract. Wade put up a decent 18 pts per game on a hair over 50% true shooting, but it was still the worst season of his Hall of Fame career. Even the spasms of shotmaking were overshadowed by ball-stopping play and a complete disregard for defensive effort. He also missed 22 games, and both his health and productivity aren’t likely to keep from sliding as he enters his age-36 season.
Wade was part of a struggling 3-alphas formation, and perhaps not coincidentally it was in the major time he missed to end the season that the Bulls made their late push for the playoffs. Though when there, ‘playoff Dwyane Wade’ didn’t appear as hoped, as he had two good game out of the six against the Celtics, ending in a 1-10 performance in the Bulls embarrassing close-out contest.
I suppose it was still a good contract from the Bulls perspective, because they undoubtedly sold more season tickets and jerseys with Wade on board. And they can claim this is all great flexibility actually because it’s only a single year remaining.
Wade opting-in eliminates nearly all chances of the Bulls getting enough cap room for a meaningful addition in free agency this summer, though they could still be a factor if letting their restricted free agents walk and cutting Rajon Rondo’s contract. There’s also the possibility of now trading Wade, but expiring contracts aren’t as valuable as they used to be (especially $24m ones) and there are perception issues to consider if considering jerking around one of the most respected players in the NBA who you just last year begged to sign.
* Credit to Vincent Goodwill here, as just earlier today I was ignoring his reports - he’s been wrong a lot - on Jimmy Butler rumors that made the Bulls look dangerously incompetent. So though he was right on this one hope he’s still wrong on that.