After the Chicago Bulls swung and missed on superstar winger Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James decided to go home, rumors flew about possible interest in Dwyane Wade heading home as well. Wade, a native a Chicago, was considering joining his hometown team in 2010 before staying with the Miami Heat and winning two NBA Titles.
Wade, now 32, seems to be on the home stretch of his career. The 10-time All-Star missed 28 games last season in order to try and save him (and his knees) for a deep playoff run. The strategy almost worked, as Wade seemed like his old self through the first three series. But in the Finals, he disappeared. In each of the five Finals games, Wade recorded a negative plus/minus and his worst shooting percentage in a playoff series since the seven-game series against the Indiana Pacers in 2013.
Many would say that the Bulls are in need of a veteran winger to play alongside up-and-comer Jimmy Butler. And they would be absolutely correct. But Dwyane is not that player. As we saw last season, there is a limit to how many minutes Wade can play and still be effective, especially on both ends of the court. He is still a good mid-range shooter and his basketball IQ is off the charts, but his body has limits now. In coach Tom Thibodeau‘s defensive scheme, Wade would struggle to make the rotations and close outs that he would be responsible for at his position.
If the Bulls want to make a serious run at a NBA Championship this coming season, they need to pair someone with Butler who will be there for 70-plus games. That second winger is the only weak spot in the Bulls starting rotation, and bringing in the right player could propel them to Eastern Conference dominance.
There are multiple options for the Bulls to consider at the coveted “3” slot in their lineup: Luol Deng, Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce and Trevor Ariza. But Wade isn’t going to give you anywhere close to the production and consistency that those individuals can. He’s a shooting guard that would take critical minutes away from Jimmy Butler that could damage future. And that’s the last thing the Bulls want.
All in all, he has been loyal to the Heat and the city of Miami for his entire career. And that’s where he should play until he retires. He’s won three rings and has a Hall-of-Fame resume to add to it.
Wade should stay in Miami; it’s best for both sides.