The Los Angeles Lakers have been opportunistic this summer, making a shrewd trade before the NBA Draft to add promising pieces and then pouncing when defensive ace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope surprisingly hit the unrestricted free agent market. The arrival of Lonzo Ball has helped usher in a new wave of optimism for Lakers fans, but the front office helmed by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka has also done an admirable job of putting together some interesting pieces.
However, it appears that they also considered pursuing another big name recently: Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade. Wade arrived in Chicago last year as a free agent, ending his longtime tenure with the Miami Heat. The hope was that Wade, along with Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler, would lead the Bulls on a deep playoff run. They seemed to be on the verge of knocking out the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round, but an injury to Rondo derailed their hopes.
Now, with Rondo and Butler gone, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on The Jump that if the Bulls were considering dealing Wade, the Lakers were interested:
“Well, after Dwyane Wade opted back into his contract for this year and then Jimmy Butler got traded, Dwyane was trying to figure out, “Are we going to go forward here in Chicago?”. He’s going to get his money, he’s going to get that 20-plus million, but the Lakers had interest if Chicago was A. Willing to potentially trade him or if Dwyane had gotten a buyout in Chicago the Lakers absolutely had interest in signing him, but once that space got filled up by Caldwell-Pope that wasn’t on the board.”
It’s not all that surprising to hear that the Lakers would have been interested in Wade, as they have an extremely young team that could use veteran mentors and Wade’s one-year deal would fit perfectly with their plan to preserve cap space for next summer. Plus, Wade would have been an intriguing fit next to Ball in the backcourt.
For the time being, Wade is still a Chicago Bull, but with the club clearly entering a rebuilding phase, it’s anyone’s guess how long that will last for.