Dwyane Wade might actually come out the big winner post-draft night

SHARE Dwyane Wade might actually come out the big winner post-draft night
SHARE Dwyane Wade might actually come out the big winner post-draft night

It would seemingly be difficult to toss Dwyane Wade in the “Winner’’ category in the wake of the NBA Draft.

He lost good friend and teammate Jimmy Butler in the trade with the Timberwolves, and he’s now left basically playing the role of housedad as the rebuild button has been pushed by Bulls general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson.

But Wade also stands in a very powerful position.

In officially picking up his $23.8 million player option for the 2017-18 season, Wade is under the team’s control for one more season.

But control has a price.

Multiple sources have indicated that Wade planned to press Gar/Pax on a buyout if Butler was gone, and now the front office has to decide how much of a rebuild done right is worth to them.

Is it worth paying Wade $20 million to go away in hopes of getting a top-three pick in what is expected to be a very top-heavy draft next summer? Is it worth playing hardball with him and offering a $10-$15-million buyout, only for Wade to say no and not only make the roster deeper but also take valuable minutes away from young players like Zach LaVine or Denzel Valentine?

Also, is the idea of possibly landing standout Michael Porter Jr. in next year’s draft worth $20 million to this front office?

These are tough questions the front office will need to address as free agency begins later this week.

That’s why Wade could be a big winner in all of this, with a scenario that has him getting $20 million and then being able to go play with whomever he wants.

Other winners

Tom Thibodeau: The former Bulls coach not only landed an elite two-way player in Butler, but an aggressive recruiter with a quick texting finger.

LaVar Ball: Got exactly what he wanted in pushing for son, Lonzo, to end up as a Laker. Start writing the script for that reality show.

Butler: Gets to play alongside young guys Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. He also has a new front office that truly appreciates him.

Sacramento Kings: Seldom is this organization praised, but a stellar draft as they try to become a team in the conversation.

“The process’’: Maybe it’s about to start leading to results in Philadelphia.

Golden State Warriors: Bought another second-round pick in Jordan Bell and can sit back and laugh at a Cavs organization suddenly in a little disarray.

The Twitter account of Travelle Gaines: The timeline doesn’t lie.

Gar/Pax: May have bought themselves more time, hiding true accountability behind the decision to go with a rebuild.

Losers

Gar/Pax: Picked a direction a year too late and are considered the worst front office in their own city and west of Phil Jackson. They also have further damaged an already fragile reputation with NBA players league-wide. But these two sure know how to build a Summer League team.

Fred Hoiberg: If he finishes out all five years of his contract, last year’s playoff appearance will likely be his only one. He can thank Gar/Pax for the black mark on his resume.

Boston Celtics: Assets are nice if they are cashed in.

Phil Jackson: Wake up, Phil, there’s another rookie trying out!

Rajon Rondo: Is soon to be the next Bulls player lied to.

Bulls fans: Are all but helpless in hearing their demands heard, and yet continue to fill seats.

Follow me on Twitter @suntimes_hoops.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

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