Dwyane Wade’s professionalism is about to be tested.
Wade, 35, spent the early part of the week letting the Bulls know that he would exercise his $23.8 million option for the 2017-18 season, then spent Thursday night in Paris finding out that Robin had just lost his Batman.
Wade was vacationing overseas with Jimmy Butler when news broke that the Bulls had traded Butler and the 16th overall pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine and the seventh pick, which became Arizona stretch four Lauri Markkanen.
No big deal, right?
A source close to Wade insisted that if Butler was moved, “D-Wade was asking for a buyout.’’
Asking and receiving are two different things, however, and Wade is about to find that out.
A member of the Bulls’ front office was asked about that comment after the Butler deal was announced and said, “We truly believe that Dwyane will handle the situation professionally.’’
The Bulls had better hope that’s the case because the last thing Year 1 of this rebuild needs in late September is an unhappy veteran steering the young players in the wrong direction.
Wade said in May — in his last meeting with the media — that he had to remain open-minded to different scenarios, including the start of a rebuild.
He was even asked if he would accept a scenario in which he would come off the bench in a sixth-man role.
“I’m an open-minded person,’’ Wade said. “I’m always open to a lot of things. That’s never been presented to me. I’ve never had that, but I will never be a person who says, ‘Oh, never.’ I’m always open. If it’s the right situation, you know what, you do what’s best for the team and yourself.’’
It could be asked of him if LaVine, who tore his left anterior cruciate ligament, continues to move in a positive rehab direction. The Bulls likely will be looking to get LaVine and Dunn as much playing time together as possible. Plus, if Wade truly wants out, the Bulls always could try to move him at the February trade deadline, letting him join a contender.
Markkanen was asked about his 42 percent three-point shooting in college and how it will translate to a longer NBA distance, and he said, “I’ve been working on my shot and shooting NBA threes, and it’s no different for me. I can make that shot I would say even better than the college three. It’s not a problem.’’