LeBron James has said that at some point in his career he'd like to play on the same team as his best friends -- Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul -- and he may take a step toward that goal this season.

In the "Wine and Gold Talk" podcast with Chris Fedor for cleveland.com, Joe Vardon reported that LeBron's camp thinks Wade will be end up in Cleveland this season. From Vardon:

As of right now, people close to James are fairly confident that, at some point this year, Dwyane Wade is going to end up on the Cavs.

In case you're wondering who Vardon means by "people close to James," he mentioned earlier in the podcast that the only sources he considers reliable when it comes to James are agent Rich Paul, business manager Maverick Carter, wife Savannah James and confidant Adam Mendelsohn.

A buyout between Wade and the rebuilding Chicago Bulls seems like the logical next step for both parties, but Chicago is apparently in no rush to make it happen. Wade is owed $23.8 million this season, and the Bulls likely would have to absorb a large chunk of that in any buyout situation. Chicago could end up waiting until later in the season for a buyout, first testing the trade market for Wade in the hope of picking up additional assets.

If he's bought out Wade would become an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any team except the Bulls.

The Cavs are clearly in flux, with the pending Kyrie Irving trade and James' potential 2018 free agency hanging over the front office. The addition of Wade, who averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season, would give the Cavs another playmaker who could help shoulder the scoring load if and when Irving is traded.