Bulls mulling Dwyane Wade buyout, but only if it's 'advantageous' to the team
John Paxson doesn't intend to buy Wade out without some sort of compromise from the 3-time champion
Dwyane Wade's time in Chicago could be nearing an end -- only if team executive vice president John Paxson sees a buyout of the star's contract as a benefit to the team, that is.
In an interview on "The Mully and Hanley" show on Thursday, Paxson said buyout discussions are ongoing with Wade's representatives, but it would have to be a move that proves "advantageous" for the franchise, and Wade would potentially have to forfeit a chunk of the $23.8 million he opted into this summer to make it work.
"Some dialogue is going on," Paxson said via the Chicago Tribune. "We understand where Wade is at this time of his career. We're more than willing to work with him. But as I said when we had the press conference to introduce the new players after the draft, we have to always do what's in our best interest. So there has to be something that is mutually agreed upon. It can't be something the player wins because that's what he wants.
"We want to work with Dwyane because we respect him very much," Paxson continued. "If he doesn't want to be here, then we want to do [the buyout]. But again, the bottom line is always -- and it has to be -- that we have to do what's in our best interest."
Wade, now entering his 15th season in the league, picked up his player option on June 20 with the Bulls. But since he did, the Bulls have seemingly taken a new direction as a franchise, trading away the team's cornerstone in Jimmy Butler to Minnesota and moving toward a rebuild -- a stark contrast from a season ago in which the team gave the top-seeded Celtics a challenging six-game, first-round playoff series.
Should Wade get bought out of his contract, Miami and Cleveland could be contenders to land the veteran's services. In Cleveland, he could contend for a title with LeBron James like old times. In Miami, he could return to the place he was drafted and won three championships, and ride into the sunset as a veteran member of a youthful Heat team.
As of now, however, Wade appears to be headed toward staying with the Bulls -- at least for the short time.
"The only thing I'll say right now my plan is to be in training camp," Wade told the Tribune two weeks ago at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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