Around this time last year, Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls both seemed overjoyed to have agreed on a two-year, $47 million contract.
Now Wade and the Bulls seem eager to part ways. Part of that, according to reporter Nick Friedell, is because the Bulls’ young players dislike the 12-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion.
“The reality for Dwyane is, he was sold as the guy who was going to help everybody in that locker room,” Friedell told SportsCenter on Tuesday. “And he did for a couple months, and then there was that big blowup with Jimmy Butler in January. The young players on the Bulls really can’t stand Dwyane. It’s like the little secret in Chicago, they have had enough.”
Friedell said to expect a buyout agreement between the parties at some point this season.
“This is inevitable. It’s coming. It’s a matter of when, not if,” the reporter said. “But right now it’s just kind of a staring contest. Everybody’s looking at each other saying, ‘Okay, how much money are you willing to give up?’ And Gar Forman, the Bulls GM, at summer league said, ‘Oh we’re not having conversations.’ I don’t think that’s the case. I think Dwyane’s agents and the Bulls are wanting to get this thing done, but I’d really be surprised if it happened before the season. I still think it’s more likely that it’ll happen probably somewhere in December or January. But this is a divorce that’s going to happen, it’s just going to take some time.”
Last season, Wade ripped his Bulls teammates after the squad blew a 10-point lead in the final three minutes of a loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
“I don’t know if they care enough,” Wade said after the January defeat. “So I can’t say it is. I wish I could say that everyone in here is going to go home and not eat tonight. I can’t say that. I wish I could, but I don’t know that they care enough.
“Games are supposed to hurt. You’re not supposed to sleep. You’re not supposed to want to talk to anybody. These games are supposed to hurt. I don’t know if that is in guys in this locker room. Hopefully they can prove me wrong, but I will challenge them to see if losses like this hurt.
“We can play bad, we can miss shots, but we’re having too many of these lapses. We’re having too many of these losses. This just can’t be acceptable if you want to do something besides have an NBA jersey on and make some money. That’s all we’re doing around here.”
Point guard Rajon Rondo came to the young players’ defense with a vicious subgram (that’s a subtweet on Instagram) that contrasted Wade to Rondo’s former Boston Celtics teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
If Wade and the Bulls do agree on a buyout, I can think of at least one former teammate who’d love to reunite for another crack at a ring.