During the summer of 2016, Dwyane Wade shocked the basketball world by leaving the Miami Heat for his hometown Chicago Bulls. The three-time champion and Heat president Pat Riley couldn’t agree to a new contract, so Wade signed with the Bulls on a lucrative two-year deal worth $47 million.
The Bulls made the playoffs during the 2016-17 season but lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round in six games. On draft-night in 2017, Chicago traded All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves, signaling a rebuild.
Wade and the Bulls agreed to a buyout after the Butler trade, allowing the future Hall of Famer to sign with a contender. The 13-time All-Star reunited with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers by signing a one-year, $2.3 million contract with the Cavs. The basketball world was excited to see James and Wade back together since they were a lethal dynamic duo on the Heat from 2010 to 2014.
However, Dwyane Wade’s stint with the Cavs was so bad that he’s making fun of himself to this day.
Dwyane Wade played in 46 games with the Cavs
Dwyane Wade appeared in 46 games with the Cavs during the 2017-18 season. He averaged 11.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 45.5% from the field, 32.9% from beyond the arc, and 70.1% from the free-throw line. Wade only started three games with Cleveland. The Cavs’ offense was actually better when Wade wasn’t on the floor, as the team’s offensive rating dropped by 3.5 points when the Chicago native was in the game.
Even though he was playing with LeBron James, Wade’s heart was still with the Heat. The 2006 Finals MVP was caught by LeBron and Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue watching Heat games in the training room and checking scores at halftime. Wade sapped the Cavs’ energy and spirit, and Lue believed D-Wade was the team’s biggest issue in the locker room.
The Cavs struggled with Dwyane Wade, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, and Jae Crowder, so general manager Koby Altman made a bevy of moves at the 2018 trade deadline. Thomas was traded to the LA Lakers, Rose and Crowder were sent to the Utah Jazz, and Wade was dealt to the place he should never have left in 2016.
The Cavs traded Dwyane Wade to the Heat
The Cavs traded Dwyane Wade to the Heat for a 2024 second-round pick. The shooting guard was thrilled about the move since he was going back to Wade County.
To close out the 2017-18 season, Wade averaged 12.0 points for the Heat in 21 games. Miami played the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2018 playoffs, and Wade put up 16.6 points per game in the series. The former fifth overall pick turned back the clock in Games 2 and 4, as Wade scored 28 points in Game 2 and 25 in Game 4.
Deep down inside, Wade knew he shouldn’t have left the Heat for the Bulls in 2016. However, his contract situation with Pat Riley got so bad that Wade had no choice but to send a message to the Godfather and leave. The good news is that Riley and Wade got back on good terms in 2018 when the Heat acquired Flash from the Cavs.
The 2017-18 season was a whirlwind for Dwyane Wade. It started poorly on the Cavs but ended well on the Heat. However, the 38-year-old’s short Cavs stint won’t ever be forgotten since it was pretty bad.
Former superstar pokes fun at himself after finding out the Cavs have a new D-Wade
The Cavs have a new D-Wade. His name is Dean Wade, a 6-foot-9 power forward who has career NBA averages of 1.7 points. When Dwyane Wade saw the Cavs’ new D-Wade, he took to Twitter and trolled himself.
Now retired, Wade is enjoying his life by spending time with his wife and kids. Once he becomes eligible, Wade will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He finished his decorated NBA career with averages of 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.4 assists with the Heat, Bulls, and Cavs.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.