Almost two months in, and there’s still no breakthrough in this staring contest.
Dwyane Wade wants his money and wants to be elsewhere; the Bulls would love him elsewhere but at their price.
Miami radio host Andy Slater reported Tuesday that Wade’s children have moved back to south Florida to attend school after transferring to a Chicago school last year. It’s an obvious sign of an inevitable breakup.
But Wade, always very image-conscious, wants it to seem like the Bulls came up with the buyout idea and a suitable number to make it happen.
At some point, it will happen, but who will blink first?
A Bulls source reiterated that neither Wade nor his representation has officially asked for a buyout. There has been little contact between the sides, especially with Wade’s busy offseason travel schedule.
General manager Gar Forman then confirmed that in a text, saying, “We’re looking forward to having Dwyane with us.’’
With the Bulls in rebuild mode and doing everything they can to try to line up on draft night for Michael Porter Jr., Forman’s comment seems like more posturing.
The Sun-Times first reported after Jimmy Butler was traded to the Timberwolves that Wade would seek a buyout, and the starting price would be $20 million of the $23.8 million he opted in for this season.
Anything less at the start of the regular season would be met with a no-thanks, according to one source.
While that number has been kept among Wade’s circle, it’s not even in the same zip code the Bulls are shopping in. Wade’s price inevitably will shrink as the season drags on and the February trade deadline approaches, but that is the current state of affairs.
“Dwyane was a great pro last year, and he’s been around a lot of different situations,’’ vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said of a buyout possibility in late June. “He was around Miami when they had a couple of rebuilding years as well, so right now we’re operating under the assumption that he’ll be here. But, like I said, if that [buyout] subject is ever broached by them, then it would have to be advantageous for us.’’
The news of Wade’s children transferring makes sense, especially because Wade maintained his house in Miami, visiting it several times last season. Why would he leave them in Chicago schools with such an uncertain future?
Also, just because Wade is focusing on his Miami residency doesn’t mean that is his planned destination.
The Heat are limited to a $4.3 million midlevel exception to spend this upcoming season, and that’s why Wade would have to see a big chunk of his salary come from the Bulls.
The other factor to consider, according to one source, is that idea of image.
“D-Wade never likes to look like the bad guy,’’ the source said.
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