Dwyane Wade is already making postseason plans.
They don’t involve sitting around with a soft cast on his injured right elbow, either.
The veteran guard has told teammates — specifically Jimmy Butler — that he will do everything in his power to return to the floor and play in the postseason, even if his right elbow isn’t 100 percent.
As far as Butler is concerned, it’s now up to him to give Wade that opportunity.
“Yeah, he actually does say that: ‘Get us to the playoffs, because I’ll be able to come back, and I can play,’ ’’ Butler said. “So that’s my goal right now. Go out there and be the killer to take us to these wins.’’
When Wade first was injured last week, he said he would miss the rest of the regular season, but offered no timetable beyond that.
There obviously is one now.
That’s why Butler continues to play with ligament damage in his left hand.
That’s why Butler was playing like a man possessed in the 117-95 win over the flailing Detroit Pistons on Wednesday at the United Center, keeping the Bulls (34-38) within striking distance of a playoff berth.
That’s why Butler was yelling at teammates on where they need to be on the floor and why he was letting the coaching staff know which offensive sets were working.
Butler finished the game 6-for-6 from the field with 16 points, 12 assists, and five rebounds in just under 34 minutes.
Plus, he was all over the place defensively, not only locking down his man, but also being aggressive trying to make steals.
“We’re still in this playoff talk until told otherwise,’’ Butler said.
And Butler wants nothing more than to make sure Wade is along for the postseason ride, further evidence of how tightly the bond between the two has grown in their first season together.
While the three-time All-Star wants to avoid talk of offseason decisions, Butler did admit that he and Wade have discussed the $23.8 million player option Wade has for the 2017-18 season. Butler reiterated that he wants Wade back for not only that season, but longer.
“I still think he’s got a lot more basketball left if you ask me,’’ Butler said. “I think everybody knows that I really like the guy as a person. He’s taught me so much on the floor, off the floor, but that’s his decision. You’ve always got to do what’s right, and not only for him, but for his family. But that choice is weighing on him because it is a player option.
“I tell D, ‘You do what you have to do.’ ’’
Butler also said that Wade might impact his feelings about his future with the Bulls, but he’s in no position to do anything about it.
“It doesn’t change my mentality because I’m under contract and I can’t do anything about it,’’ Butler said. “I can only talk to him again like I did before this year.’’
Until then, his hope is more performances like the one against the Pistons.
“You lean on your obviously best players when you need them most,’’ coach Fred Hoiberg said. “And we needed this one in the worst way.’’
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