Since making his NBA debut in the 2003/04 season, Dwyane Wade has entertained the fans in South Beach as part of the Miami Heat. That will no longer be the case.
Thirteen seasons and three championships after joining the franchise, Wade will be bidding Miami adieu in order to join the Chicago Bulls on a two-year, $47.5 million deal, according to The Vertical.
Despite having enjoyed much success during his time with the Heat, the Chicago-born Wade believes that he made the right decision.
“This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice,” he said in a letter. “Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player.
“My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from, and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game.”
Wade’s contract gives him the option of becoming a free agent again in 2017, meaning that if things don’t work out with his hometown team, he can look to go elsewhere.
In order to clear salary-cap space for Wade, the Bulls traded Jose Calderon to the Los Angeles Lakers and sent Mike Dunleavy to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Bulls may have traded former NBA MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, but they have started to put together a formidable line-up that includes Wade, Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo.
While the Bulls have significantly bolstered their roster, the Heat, who offered Wade a two-year, $40 million deal, were left reeling after watching arguably their most iconic player in history set sail for a new destination.
The 34-year-old was also in talks with the Denver Nuggets and despite being offered a two-year, $52 million deal, Wade opted to sign with the Bulls.
With their franchise player having gone, the Heat will be scrambling to find a few players to fill the gaping holes that have emerged in their line-up as they also lost Luol Deng to the Lakers and Joe Johnson to the Utah Jazz.