Dwyane Wade will become a free agent once he clears waivers after reaching a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
The 35-year-old doesn’t intend to stay on the open market long, and there are four destinations that quickly emerged as potential landing spots for Wade.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are considered the front-runners, as Wade would be reunited with good friend LeBron James. But the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are also believed to be in the mix.
Each team brings unique opportunities for the 12-time All-Star who spent just one season with the Bulls after his highly-anticipated return to his hometown of Chicago.
“A Dream was fulfilled!!! Thank you Chicago!!!” Wade tweeted.
Wade and James won three championships together with Miami, and recently worked out together.
“To say we had a great week of work would be an understatement,” Wade posted on Instagram. “We both helped push each other to go outside of our comfort zones. #Itjusfeelsdifferent #Year15 #Brotherhood.”
One hurdle in the Cleveland equation is that the Cavs could only offer Wade about $2.5 million, and the team would be hit with a massive luxury tax bill after the season.
An eight-time All-NBA honoree, Wade could also consider a return to Miami, where he played for 13 seasons. Miami has a $4.3 million exception available, and Wade has kept his home there.
“Anything that happens from a personnel standpoint down the road, any opportunities that are there, we’re always going to approach that,” Heat president Pat Riley said last week when asked about Wade.
Oklahoma City presents an interesting option after the Thunder finalized their trade for Carmelo Anthony on Monday. In OKC, Wade would team with Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Paul George, and Wade and Anthony are also close friends. OKC also could only offer Wade around $2.5 million.
Wade, who averaged 18.3 points per game last season, is also a fan of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Wade is averaging 23.3 points per game over his 14-year NBA career, has been to the playoffs 12 times and was the 2006 NBA Finals MVP.