On the eve of 2017 training camp, the Bulls have paid another one of their big 2016 free agent signings to go away.
KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune broke the news late Sunday night, that Wade and Bulls had reached an agreement on a buyout. Wade, once he passes through waivers, will be a free agent eligible to sign with any team.
Early reports are that Wade is forfeiting around $8-10m of the nearly $24m he was owed this season. Upon first glance that seems like a ton for to give back! The Bulls organization must be very adept at laying out what a horrible season this is going to be. And as John Paxson predicted, they look to have won this negotiation. Financial Champs.
In terms of team-building, any amount saved in the buyout does also come off their cap. We’ll have to see the official amount before penciling in an amount of room they could potentially open up...though so far this summer they’ve operated as an over-the-cap team using the Jimmy Butler traded player exception, they could ‘switch’ to being under the cap if it’s more advantageous to accomplishing future deals. Or they’ll just pocket the cash!
Still, paying so much in a buyout of a guy a year after he was hyped (Wade was going to fix the culture of the franchise to stars! Banana boat recruiter!) and signed (after trading away 2 second-round picks and Mike Dunleavy just to create the cap room then) is yet another embarrassment for the Bulls. Though to their credit, at least it’s tidied up now and not an unnecessary story during the season.
It was tough to believe that Wade was the type of ‘right veteran’ Paxson was saying to be looking for after they made their awful initial steps towards a rebuild. Though arriving with much fanfare and projecting his Hall-of-Fame status, Wade was an inefficient scorer who took an outsized role on offense (he had a higher usage rate than Butler!) while his defense deteriorated to loafing and gambling. It doesn’t appear that he would take much interest in babysitting an awful team, unless it was life lessons in how to put one over on gullible GMs.
The peak of the Dwyane Wade era for the Bulls may have been his first game, where he hit several threes and some late daggers to take down the Celtics at the United Center. Then it was mostly finding clips of him pointing and standing on defense. He also sold a lot of jerseys.