The worst-kept secret of the NBA offseason finally became official on Sunday.
Dwyane Wade won't be back with the Chicago Bulls in 2017-18.
The 12-time All-Star reached a buyout settlement that will cost him approximately $9 million of his guaranteed $24 million contract, but will allow him to hit the open market, presumably to join a contender.
Wade exercised his player option earlier this offseason, but that was before the Bulls went all-in on a rebuilding strategy that included shipping Jimmy Butler to Minnesota.
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Now the 35-year old guard, who averaged 18.3 ppg in 2016-17, will choose between a list of high-profile suitors looking to add a proven scorer and winner before the season opens in October.
Market-setting offshore sportsbook BookMaker.eu revealed odds on Monday for what's next for Wade, and a clear-cut favorites have emerged:
From BookMaker.eu: Which team will Dwyane Wade sign with?
Miami Heat +145 (Wager $100 to win $145)
Oklahoma City Thunder +180
Cleveland Cavaliers +600
San Antonio Spurs +1500
Field (every other team) +210
The pick: I love the value of the Cavs at +600. ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski has listed Cleveland, Miami and San Antonio as the three early favorites, and while Miami might have the sentimenal edge, Cleveland can check off more boxes.
The Cavs are legitimate title contenders, they have Wade's good friend LeBron James and they reportedly have already made it clear to Wade that he has a defined spot in the starting lineup if he chooses to sign with them. More reports have circulated on Tuesday afternoon that Wade is close to finalizing a deal in Cleveland.
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It'd be hard for a player looking to finish up his career on a positive note to find a much better situation for 2017-18.