The sweepstakes for Dwyane Wade has gotten a lot more interesting.
The Miami Heat star on Friday wrapped up his second meeting in as many days with the Chicago Bulls, who are clearly intrigued with the possibility of landing the free agent guard -- perhaps as bait in addition to his skills. The meeting came on the eve of the Bulls' pitch to LeBron James, the top free agent in this extraordinary year.
Wade shrugged when asked if the Bulls had made him an offer during the two-hour meeting, which he said he agreed to at the team's request.
"Things are getting very interesting," he said. He was asked whether James will have any influence on what he does.
"I can't say. We're both going to make our own decisions," Wade said, then added: "We're real good friends."
Earlier in the day, it seemed Wade was tipping his hand toward the New York Knicks.
"I'm in a New York state of mind," he said with a smile as he entered the Peninsula Hotel for a meeting with the Knicks, who were the fourth team in two days hoping to lure Wade away from the Heat. The two sides met for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
"It was a good meeting, it was a real good meeting and I will say I'm intrigued,'' he said, declining further comment before driving away from a downtown hotel. Wade met with the Bulls and then the New Jersey Nets on Thursday, and he heard from the Heat when free agency opened.
As Wade talked with the Knicks, Heat president Pat Riley was spending about three hours in Cleveland with James, who Wade would love to team up with next season.
And given the interest Wade is showing other clubs, it's obviously incumbent upon Riley to deliver a star to Miami.
Despite his ties to Chicago -- a home and family, including his mother, and a pastor who has a church that her son purchased for her in the city -- Wade has said repeatedly he would like to stay in Miami. But he did structure his last contract for the opportunity to become a free agent for the first time.
The Bulls made a "very good" presentation to Wade during a meeting Wednesday at the United Center, said his agent, Henry Thomas.
Wade left that meeting in a dark SUV, waving a "peace" gesture out the window.
Wade is expected to return to Florida next week, and it's believed that's when he and Riley will talk. Wade is scheduled to join Heat executive Alonzo Mourning for a Tuesday news conference about their annual Summer Groove, a fundraising weekend for youth programs and other charitable causes. Wade is expected to play in an all-star game as part of that weekend on July 18.
Fellow free agent superstar Chris Bosh tweeted that he and Wade dined Thursday night in Chicago and posted a picture to prove it. Bosh also said "it feels like someone is missing," an apparent reference to James.
Before free agency began, Wade's camp said he had discussed various options at separate times with both James and Bosh.
Just for a little more intrigue, Bosh was having another meeting late Friday. With the Bulls.
Chicago has nearly $30 million in salary cap room available and has made a series of moves to add as many as two marquee players to go with All-Star point guard Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson. The Bulls are coming off back-to-back, 41-win seasons.
The Bulls also met with Carlos Boozer and David Lee on Friday, raising the possibility that their frontcourt could be in for an overhaul.