NBA superstar and future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade was once expected to spend his entire career in a Miami Heat uniform. The greatest player in franchise history, Wade led the Heat to NBA championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013. His ability to recruit LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the 2010 offseason will go down as one of the greatest coups in league history.
However, Wade shocked the world when he left Miami (following a 48-win season), to sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls in 2016. Wade's first season in Chicago was frustrating -- he missed 22 games with injuries, the team barely made the playoffs and the locker room drama was enormous.
According to ESPN's Nick Friedell, the Bulls are expected to "reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months". So it appears as though Wade's tenure with Chicago was short and not sweet.
So if and when the buyout happens, who should come calling? And who avoid the temptation? Here are eight teams that should sign Dwyane Wade, and seven that should say away.
*Stats courtesy of ESPN*
15 Should Sign: San Antonio Spurs
With Manu Ginobili nearing the end of his playing career (40 years of age), and no sure bet to stay healthy (has played 70 games once in the past six years), the San Antonio Spurs should have a Plan B in place.
Signing Dwyane Wade would help this suddenly-closing championship window stay open a bit longer. Tony Parker (35), and Ginobili have very little gas left in the tank. LaMarcus Aldridge could soon be on his way out of town, and then who will be there to complement Kawhi Leonard?
Wade can still score points, and he'd undoubtedly like to play for a championship contender. Going to a team led by Gregg Popovich would give Wade a primary shot at winning a fourth championship. He'd be an ample piece for the Spurs, who look to take down the Golden State Warriors at least one time.
14 Stay Away: Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets disappointed in 2017 after being the sixth seed in the East a year earlier. With Kemba Walker and newcomer Dwight Howard in the fold, Charlotte can easily expect a playoff berth next year. But should they really chase a man with three championship rings? No. There's simply zero need for D-Wade.
Charlotte is stacked at the shooting guard position. Nicolas Batum is coming off a career year that saw him post 15.1 points per game. Fellow shooting guard Jeremy Lamb provides solid depth, having registered 9.7 points per game last season.
With Batum and Lamb occupying the position, the Hornets lack a fit nor a need to land Wade. He is better off looking for a team that'll be able to give him the strong minutes he's used to playing.
13 Should Sign: Sacramento Kings
Could 2018 be the year where Sacramento makes the playoffs for the first time since 2006? The front office certainly hopes so after trading away DeMarcus Cousins for young assets while adding veterans George Hill and Zach Randolph in the offseason.
Sacramento has a nice foundation of players in Hill, Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere. The front office seems confident in being able to push for a playoff spot, so why not add Dwyane Wade to the roster? He could be a strong mentor for the youthful Kings, and could add strong chemistry with Randolph and Hill.
Hield is still young and has a lot to learn, and it'd be smart for the Kings to have Wade behind him on the depth chart. That way, Wade could be a mentor and take some of the workload off of Hield.
12 Stay Away: Milwaukee Bucks
With 'Greek Freak' Giannis Antetokounmpo ready to take his game to an MVP level once again in 2017-18, the Milwaukee Bucks are once again in primary position to make a run at the playoffs.
Even though the youthful Bucks may feel inclined to add Wade to the roster, they really wouldn't have much use for him. Milwaukee got solid production at the shooting guard position from Tony Snell, who scored a career high 8.5 points per game last season. 21-year-old Rashad Vaughn provides depth at shooting guard behind Snell.
Milwaukee knows that the playoffs should be a shoe-in this upcoming season, considering how much worse the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls obviously got. So they have no reason to add Wade, who won't do much to make them a better team.
11 Should Sign: Boston Celtics
Though the Celtics pulled off a pair of huge moves by signing Gordon Hayward while trading for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, this team could still use a little more help on offence. Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk are all gone.
GM Danny Ainge is playing with fire by trusting youngsters Jayston Tatum and Jaylen Brown to form two-fifths of the starting five. If the Celtics are truly bent on unseating LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, then they should take a chance on Wade.
Brown and Marcus Smart will fill out the shooting guard position, but head coach Brad Stevens could use the scoring talents of Wade. A starting five of Irving-Wade-Morris-Horford-Hayward would surely scare the Cavaliers...and possibly the Warriors.
10 Stay Away: Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors form one of the NBA's top starting fives, thanks to the wondrous work of Masai Ujiri. They re-signed Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka to three-year extensions while adding shooting sniper C.J. Miles. Toronto now boasts a starting five of Lowry-DeRozan-Ibaka-Valanciunas-Miles.
And who sits behind DeRozan at the shooting guard position? None other than fan favorite Norman Powell, a 24-year-old who filled in nicely while DeMar was hurt -- averaging 8.4 points per game. He's younger and way cheaper than Wade, so why would the Raptors need to chase him?
Toronto is trying to stay out of luxury tax territory. Wade would easily put them in there. And with a terrific starting five and a solid bench, the Raptors have no reason to chase Wade. He's too expensive and doesn't up their chances of defeating the Cavaliers.
9 Should Sign: Utah Jazz
To say the offseason hasn't been kind to the Utah Jazz would be a massive understatement. After winning 51 games to reach the second round of the playoffs, the Jazz lost Gordon Hayward and George Hill in free agency, who signed with Boston and Sacramento, respectively.
The Jazz did make a good move to trade for standout point guard Ricky Rubio from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but another scorer is necessary if they want to get back to the playoffs. Signing Dwyane Wade would give them another scorer to replace the void left by Hayward.
With power forward Derrick Favors also in the fold, the Jazz could round up a nice trio to make the playoffs. Signing Wade on a one or two-year deal would be well worth it.
8 Stay Away: Washington Wizards
John Wall received a four-year, $170 million extension from the Wizards. The fourth-best team from the Eastern Conference in 2017 now has to put up or shut up. It's time to start winning some more playoff series.
Wall and Bradley Beal are one of the most explosive scoring duos in the NBA. And because Beal is also a shooting guard, that means Wade wouldn't get the chance to make much of an impact in D.C.
Jodie Meeks provides good depth off the bench behind Beal, having averaged 9.1 points per game last year. The Wizards offence simply doesn't fit a 35-year-old Wade at this point of his career, so Washington shouldn't even think about Wade. On the flip side, Wade shouldn't even be dreaming about Washington.
7 Should Sign: Denver Nuggets
After winning 40 games last season yet just barely missing the playoffs, the Denver Nuggets look poised to finally make a run to the postseason. Out goes Italian sensation Danilo Gallinari, but in comes scoring star Paul Millsap. With Nikola Jokic and Wilson Chandler also rounding out the top-five, the Nuggets will be making some noise in the Mile High City.
However, the Nuggets could ideally use another scorer to break through in the wild, wild Western Conference. Wade would be a huge weapon on that team, and could provide strong leadership to the Nuggets.
If Denver truly wants to make a big splash that puts them in the playoffs, then signing a future Hall of Famer is worth it. He won't make them a championship team, but undoubtedly a 2018 playoff squad.
6 Stay Away: Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors simply have zero reason to make any changes to their roster. A year after winning an NBA record 73 games, they captured their second championship in three years by signing superstar Kevin Durant. With a starting five that consists of Stephen Curry, K.D., Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, there is ZERO reason for Golden State to play with the chemistry they have.
Wade doesn't do much to make the Warriors better. He doesn't fit their near-perfect offence that consists of supreme shooting and the game's second best player in Durant. What incentive is there to possibly add Wade?
The Warriors have constructed a roster that will not be matched in the next 10 years. Adding Dwyane Wade comes with more risks than rewards. So stay away, boys.
5 Should Sign: Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers had one of the most dramatic offseasons in recent memory. Blake Griffin was re-signed for the max, Italian standout Danilo Gallinari was acquired via trade yet perennial superstar point guard Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets. It's quite evident that the Clippers aren't going to be as good as last year.
That is, unless they have one more big move up their sleeves. Imagine if they could make a move for the ageless Dwyane Wade? Blake Griffin will score his 20 points a game. DeAndre Jordan will dazzle as a defender. Gallinari will score 15-20 a night, and then there'd be Wade and his career average of 23.3 points per game.
Suddenly, the Clippers are still dangerous and round out one of the game's top starting five units.
4 Stay Away: Minnesota Timberwolves
Speaking of teams that have had dramatic offseasons...
The Minnesota Timberwolves made arguably the biggest trade in the franchise's history, acquiring Chicago Bulls superstar Jimmy Butler in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and a 2017 first rounder.
On top of that, Minnesota signed Jeff Teague and added Taj Gibson, while shipping out Ricky Rubio to make room for the newcomers. With Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns in the fold, the Timberwolves figure to be a playoff team that also has zero reason to add Wade.
They've done more than enough this offseason, and they have a long-term championship contender on the way. Signing a 35-year-old Wade -- who has two bad knees -- isn't going to make them better. They also have Butler and veteran Jamal Crawford Crawford at shooting guard. Zero need for Wade. Move on.
3 Should Sign: Cleveland Cavaliers
Once again, we're speaking of teams that have had dramatic offseasons...
The Cleveland Cavaliers desperately tried to add to their super team by adding Jimmy Butler and Paul George, but no deal could be reached. A month after Kyrie Irving requested a trade, the Cavs sent him to the Boston Celtics. In come Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas.
Now, the Cavaliers have a better-built roster to handle the Warriors. LeBron, Kevin Love, Thomas and Crowder -- plus 2011 league MVP Derrick Rose on the bench. But what if the Cavaliers added one more star? Aka, LeBron's old friend in Dwyane Wade.
Though J.R. Smith has been a formidable shooting guard for Cleveland, Wade is a massive upgrade. If the Cavaliers could land him, they'd be punch-for-punch just as strong as the Cavaliers. Make LeBron and D-Wade a team again. It would be perfect for both parties.
2 Stay Away: Houston Rockets
The Rockets were the third best team in the West last season, thanks to an MVP-like season from James Harden. As if the Rockets were dangerous enough, they made a blockbuster trade for world class point guard Chris Paul, forming one of the most dangerous tandems in the NBA.
Houston also added the likes of Tim Quarterman, P.J. Tucker and Shawn Long to round out their roster depth. Right now, all the pieces are there for Mike D'Antoni's crew to put up some form of a fight against the mighty Warriors.
But with James Harden already occupying the shooting guard position (and doing a darn fine job, we may add), what reason is there to sign Wade? He does nothing to help them. So Houston, stay away from Wade and focus elsewhere.
1 Should Sign: Miami Heat
The Miami Heat fared just fine in 2016-17 without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- who say out the entire season with a blood clot. They went 41-41 and lost to the Chicago Bulls via tiebreak for the final playoff spot in the East. Hassan Whiteside took his game to another level, while Dion Waiters, Goran Dragic and Justice Winslow held their own ground.
The Heat have a promising core in tact, plus they added Kelly Olynyk in the offseason. A reunion should be in order for Wade and the Heat. He had no reason to leave them in the first place, and they would surely welcome him back in open arms.
If Cleveland is unwilling to sign Wade, then Miami is the only TRUE logical fit for him. They lack veteran leaders and need his scoring back. If they can bring back Wade, Miami could be a top-five team in the East next season.
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