Superstar guard Dwyane Wade has reached a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls and is now a free agent. The veteran guard was no longer a fit in Chicago, where the rebuild is in full swing after trading away star forward Jimmy Butler earlier this summer.
Wade will now weigh his options with a number of suitors, including the Los Angeles Lakers.
At 35 years old, Wade is well past his prime but his court savvy and impressive skill set has allowed him to continue to be a productive player. Last season in Chicago he averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game in 29.9 minutes.
Still, it’s a bit surprising to see the Lakers as a potential suitor, which was reported by Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype after the buyout:
The Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams to reach out to Dwyane Wade, according to sources.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) September 25, 2017
After missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season, the Lakers could certainly use all of the help they can get. Wade would be a phenomenal mentor for young players like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle, but beyond that, it’s a questionable fit.
First and foremost, the Lakers starting five appears to be set, with Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ingram, Randle, and Brook Lopez all but locked in. Despite being a bit long in the tooth, it would be a surprise if Wade was willing to come off the bench, especially for a team like the Lakers that is not among the powerhouse teams in the West.
Instead, expect to see Wade wind up with old friend LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers, or perhaps in his old stomping grounds with the Miami Heat. Even the Oklahoma City Thunder could make some sense now that they acquired star forwards Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.