Sneaking into the playoffs after spending most of the season hovering around a .500 record wasn't what All-Star Dwyane Wade was hoping for in his first, and perhaps only, season with the Bulls.
Wade signed a one-year deal with the Bulls before this season and holds a $23.8 million player option for 2017-18. He's said earlier this season he isn't interested in sticking around if the team attempts a full-scale rebuild and likely won't stay in his hometown Chicago if Jimmy Butler is traded.
Naturally, Wade wants to know what the Bulls' plan is before deciding to use his player option.
“They want a defined vision and view of where they're going too. And as players, with player options, you want that too," Wade told reporters on Saturday after the Bulls were knocked out the playoffs by Boston. "I want it smack dead in my face of how it's gonna be, what their thought of my role or position could be here — all of it. I respect [Bulls general manager Gar Forman and vice president John Paxson] from the relationship I’ve been able to develop with those guys.
“Whether there are a lot of options (elsewhere in the league) or not, I’m in a very good situation. As a player, you can decide what you want to do. And I have a lot of money to decide if I want to take it or not. It’s not a bad thing because I worked my butt off for it over my career, so no rush in my mind. I’ve got at least a month before my mind starts going there. I’m just going to get away and let my hair grow a little bit, get a tan.’’
Wade's decision must come before the July 1 start of NBA free agency and its not out of the question he returns to Miami, which tied the Bulls at 41-41 for the eighth and final playoff seed in the East despite a terrible start to the season. The Heat could have nearly $37 million in cap space available this offseason.
"I only played in one organization my entire career, but the biggest thing is I came here and I was embraced. not only by the city, by up top," Wade said of the Bulls. "I was embraced by the coaches, the players, and it was some good moments and some bad moments, just like every season. But I don't regret my decision at all.
"Losing, like I said, it's never easy, especially when you've won championships before. Whenever you lose it always sucks, but you sit back and reflect on the positive, you look at the things that came out of it, and there's always some good, more than bad. When you're playing basketball for money at the top level, it's not all bad. I definitely don't regret my decision of being here this season."
Before signing with the Bulls this season, Wade was also linked to the Cavaliers, Knicks, Raptors and Wizards.