The Chicago Bulls were never in on LeBron James, and they have been rumored repeatedly to be out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes (although that is still a very fluid situation), but the team has been active in reaching out to numerous other players.
Whether it’s Pau Gasol or Kevin Love, the Bulls are looking at adding more scoring weapons to their roster, and with James leaving the Miami Heat on Friday morning, the Bulls may be looking to poach one of that team’s longest standing pieces: Dwyane Wade.
Here’s what Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski had to say about it this afternoon:
The Chicago Bulls are gauging interest with free agent Dwyane Wade, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2014
At 32 years old, Wade has done just about everything a player can do in his career. He has won three NBA championships, teamed up with James and Chris Bosh to form one of the most formidable cores to ever be assembled on an NBA floor, and he has become a legend in Miami as one of the franchise’s greatest players. Even still, Wade opted out of his contract in June to become a free agent, and a homecoming to his native Chicago isn’t totally out of the question.
A union with Wade could make sense for Chicago, especially if they were to strike out on Anthony in free agency. Wade has dealt with a ton of injuries over the past few seasons, missing 81 games while LeBron James was in South Beach. Even still, he’s consistently been a 20 points per game scorer during the last few seasons, and his ability to draw the attention of defenses is one that the Bulls have to consider as they look to surround Derrick Rose with scoring threats.
Adding to the reasons to potentially kick the tires on Wade is the fact that the team has a very narrow window in which they are trying to contend. The Cavaliers do have a ton of young talent with guys like Kryie Irving (and potentially Love) joining LeBron, but as fans saw when the Heat brought together their Big Three, chemistry is a tough thing to develop, and the first year or two may see a Cavs team that is vulnerable in the playoffs. The Bulls have got to take advantage of a core group of guys that only has a few years left in the tank, and Wade may be the type of weapon that could push them over the top in the short-term.
Of course, that’s the big “what if” with Wade. Will he be willing to take a contract of only a few years to join a team with a chance to win a title, or would he rather sign a longer-term deal to stay in Miami in order to cash one last paycheck? The Bulls certainly can’t afford to give him even close to max money if they are going to bring in any other pieces, and even amnestying Carlos Boozer wouldn’t clear enough money to sign Wade and Anthony to lucrative deals.
Wade’s injury woes also have to be a big red flag to the Bulls, who have had to deal with Rose’s ongoing knee troubles over the past several years. Will the dynamic point guard be the same after a torn ACL and a torn meniscus in successive years? That’s a big question mark, and adding another guard with knee issues to the mix is likely a bad idea for the team.
Needless to say, signing Wade would be a big gamble for the organization, and historically they’ve been more willing to take the safe and steady route rather than take a home run cut. This situation may be different however, and it will be interesting to see how Gar Forman and John Paxson approach a potential Wade signing.