MIAMI — Dwyane Wade is still unsure if he wants to return to Chicago next season.
According to CSNChicago.com, Wade has not yet decided if he will exercise the $23.8 million player option in his contract to remain with the Bulls for the 2017-18 season and “hasn’t informed the Bulls of anything yet.” The report also indicates that Wade will continue vacationing for the next few weeks before making a decision.
Wade has until June 27 to decide on his player option to return to the Bulls or become a free agent this summer. This news comes just days after the 12-time All-Star met with Bulls management in Chicago on Saturday for his season-ending player exit meeting.
It’s hard to imagine Wade passing up on his $23.8 million player option with the Bulls — more money than he would get anywhere else as a free agent this offseason. But the 35-year-old has made it clear that he will look at his different options before making a decision, and has said multiple times that his future could depend on what Chicago decides to do with Jimmy Butler and if the organization is in win-now mode.
“He has a decision to make of his own,” former Heat teammate and close friend Udonis Haslem said earlier this month of Wade’s decision. “There’s a lot of money out there in Chicago. I’m sure the future means a lot to him because he’s a guy who wants to play for a contender and for a ring. I think he’s in a situation where he will end his career where he wants to be. He’s smart. He’ll make the best decision for himself and for his family, as well.”
After spending the first 13 seasons of his NBA career in Miami, Wade left to sign with Chicago last summer. The 35-year-old averaged 18.3 points on a career-low 43.4 percent shooting to go with 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in his first season with the Bulls.
If you’re dreaming of Wade’s return to Miami, he would likely have to take a big pay cut to make that happen this summer. With the Heat expected to have about $38 million in cap space after it clears Chris Bosh’s contract off their salary cap, spending the majority of that money on an aging superstar like Wade seems out of the question.
“I definitely don’t regret my decision coming here,” Wade said of signing with the Bulls during his April exit interview. “Options or not, I’m in a good situation to decide what I want to do.
“I have a great luxury where I don’t have to ring-chase, but I can. Or I can be a part of passing down my knowledge. Either way.”