Dwyane Wade nearly didn't join LeBron and company in Cleveland.
After much speculation earlier this offseason about where he would land following his abrupt exit from the Chicago Bulls organization, NBA veteran Dwyane Wade ultimately chose to reunite with his former Miami Heat LeBron James teammate in Cleveland, giving the Cavs a new trio of talented scorers in James, Wade and Derrick Rose. However, according to a recent report from TMZ, Wade's former teammate Caron Butler said that the shooting guard nearly pulled the trigger on a different destination - in fact, he had designs on taking his game out West.
Butler intimated that, while he and Wade were enjoying a recent dinner, the latter let slide that he wanted to retire a member of the Heat. That shouldn't surprise anyone, since Wade has made that intention clear for a little while now. However, the juiciest part of the report was that Wade also considered joining the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that now boasts Carmelo Anthony and Paul George alonside Russell Westbrook, as an added bench scorer or the Los Angeles Lakers, in support of his girlfriend Gabrielle Union's career as an actress. Instead, Wade is expected to start for the Cavs as they make another run at an NBA championship in what is widely rumored to be LeBron's last year with the Cleveland organization.
While the former Miami teammates are now considered elder statesmen in a league they've dominated for over a decade, it's not as if their numbers have faded away. Where Wade is concerned, the 35-year-old put up 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 29.9 minutes per game with the Bulls last season, appearing in 60 games. However, Wade's departure became inevitable once Chicago decided to deal Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves and begin a full-on rebuild. There's no indication if Cleveland will have Wade (and James or Rose for that matter) on a minutes limit, to try and keep him fresh for the playoffs, but the chemistry he has with King James in undeniable. With an intriguing collection of players that have championship pedigree on their roster, it stands to reason that Wade can give LeBron an excellent chance to win the East again this year.