The Chicago Bulls have set themselves up to have a big offseason this summer, yet as we get closer and closer to decisions from Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, it appears that the Bulls are going to strike out again when it comes to signing a premier player in NBA free agency.
Signing Dwyane Wade may have seemed like an impossibility just a week ago, but with the ever-changing waves of free agency and the increased possibility that James takes his talents elsewhere, Wade could end up in the Windy City if Chicago is willing to make a bold move to sign him.
Certainly, Wade would prefer to return to the Miami Heat; he has spent his entire career with the Heat and is definitely loyal to that organization. Yet, if the Heat lose James, they will most like lose Chris Bosh as well; and as much as Wade loves Miami, I doubt he will be content to play out his career for a mediocre team, which is the best-case scenario in Miami sans the Big Three.
On the other hand, the Bulls can offer Wade the chance to win a fourth NBA championship, and with his ties to the city of Chicago, it’s a move that makes sense from all angles. With a healthy Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, Jimmy Butler and Wade, the Bulls would be immediate title contenders.
It’s true that Wade is not the same player he once was, but even at 32 years old last season, the 10-time All-Star still averaged 19 PPG while shooting an impressive 54.5 percent from the field. He did struggle in the postseason and looked fatigued by the end of the NBA Finals, but if the Bulls managed his minutes and kept him fresh for the playoffs, he could help get Chicago over the hump.
After Wade opted out of his contract, it was assumed that he would return to Miami with James and Bosh, and that still could happen. However, if James leaves, the Bulls shouldn’t hesitate to pursue Wade. The all-time great shooting guard is no longer worthy of a max contract, but if the Bulls were to offer a contract in the four-year, $70 million range that they were going to give to Anthony, it’s possible that they could convince him to leave Miami.
Say what you want about the Bulls, but if a 48-win Chicago team was to add an All-Star guard in addition to a lottery pick (McDermott) and a former MVP, the pieces will finally be in place for the Bulls to be a true contender for the NBA title since the Michael Jordan era.