A look at what could happen next for Dwyane Wade after buyout from Bulls — a possible return to Heat?

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade watch has begun.

The Bulls and Wade reached an agreement on a buyout Sunday, according to K.C. Johnson from the Chicago Tribune. The buyout allows Wade to become a free agent and sign with another team.

Wade was set to make $23.8 million this season with the Bulls, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that he gave back approximately $8 million of that salary to reach a buyout agreement with Chicago.

“I have a list of places that I will look at,” Wade told the Chicago Tribune late Sunday night. “What it’s about for me is looking at the right role. I feel I can still play.”

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during the second half of the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

So, does this mean Wade is coming back to Miami?

After the buyout news was reported, Wojnarowski tweeted that Cleveland, San Antonio and Miami are the “leaders” to sign Wade and added that a revamped Oklahoma City team could also have a chance. Wojnarowski later called the Cavaliers the “clear frontrunner with LeBron James.”

Heat president Pat Riley was asked Friday about Wade returning to Miami and he didn’t dismiss the idea.

“I feel great about our relationship that we had over the 13 years,” Riley said. “Anything that happens from a personnel standpoint down the road or any opportunities that are there, we’re always going to approach that. … But right now he’s under contract with Chicago and I wish him the very best.”

The Heat are capped out, but they do still have their $4.3 million exception to offer Wade. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the Spurs can offer Wade $3.3 million, the Cavaliers can offer $2.5 million and the Thunder can offer $2.3 million.

The question is, would Wade fit on the current Heat roster?

Miami features a deep group of guards that has already left some wondering how coach Erik Spoelstra will find playing time for them all. With Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters pretty much locked in as the Heat’s starting backcourt, Wade would likely need to accept a bench role if he decides to return.

Even off the bench, Wade will be competing with Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Wayne Ellington and Rodney McGruder for playing time.

After spending the first 13 seasons of his NBA career in Miami, Wade left to sign a two-year, $47 million deal 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.

Despite the career-low shooting percentage, Wade still had a solid season. To put Wade’s 2016-17 stat line in perspective, Waiters averaged 15.8 points on 42.4 percent shooting with the Heat last season.

Although Wade and the Heat enjoyed plenty of success together, he left the organization after contract negotiations turned tense in the summer of 2016. Wade was reportedly searching for a deal worth around $50 million over two years and the Heat would not budge much off their two-year, $40 million offer to him.

Wade and Riley sat at the center of the tension, as there was a communication breakdown between the two in negotiations. Since then, Riley has praised Wade and Wade has praised the Heat and Riley.

“I look back at those 13 years and I just smile,” Wade said of his time with the Heat in a February appearance on Wojnarowski’s podcast. “It’s hard to reflect while you’re in it. But now that I’m out of those 13 years with the organization, I look back. I think people think that I want the Heat to do bad or people probably think that ‘Oh, he still follows the Heat?’ Yes, I follow the Heat. I watch all their games. I’m checking up on them because at the end of the day, it’s always going to be a part of me. Their organization is always going to be my organization in some form and some way because of what I was able to accomplish there and where my career stands. I want nothing but success for them.”

While Wade’s intentions are still unknown, the Heat’s players want the 12-time All-Star to return to Miami.

This offseason, Waiters tweeted that playing with Wade is on his “bucket list” and even retweeted photoshopped images of he and Wade standing side by side as Heat teammates. Wade’s close longtime friend Udonis Haslem has made it known he’s hoping to play with the future Hall of Famer again, too.

“I would love to have him back, everybody knows that,” Haslem said in September. “Not only is he a great competitor, great teammate I learned a lot from but also a friend of mine, I consider him a brother.

“I just want Dwyane to be happy. This is the last lap for us both. We deserve to finish it the right way. Whatever makes him happy finishing his career. … hopefully it’s in Miami. I would love for it to be Miami. I want him to finish it right and have no regrets.”

The latest Wade news will definitely be a popular topic when the Heat hold media day on Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Training camp begins Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University. Miami currently has 19 players on its roster, just one under the 20-man preseason limit.

After all of this, does Wade now regret leaving the Heat?

“No, I don’t regret it at all,” Wade told the Chicago Tribune late Sunday night. “I left Miami last summer because it wasn’t the place that I felt wanted me to be there the same way I wanted to be there. I gave everything I had for those 13 years in Miami. What I wanted back in return, I didn’t feel I got.

“That decision I made gave me an opportunity to live a dream out. You could ask a normal fan if they got an opportunity to wear that jersey of their favorite team growing up and play for it, they’re take it. So I don’t regret it. You learn from every decision. Were there things I missed in Miami I missed? Of course. We built a lot in 13 years. That can’t be replaced anywhere.”

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