On Thursday, Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reported Wade is taking his player option for the 2017-18 campaign even though Butler was traded.
His report came after Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype cited league sources saying Chicago’s decision to trade Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves would impact Wade’s ultimate decision on his player option. The Timberwolves announced they acquired Butler and the No. 16 pick in the draft (Justin Patton) in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick in the draft (Lauri Markkanen).
It was clear Wade and Butler—who both played collegiately at Marquette—were close during the former’s one season with the Bulls. Wade called Butler “my guy” in his Instagram post following news of Thursday’s trade:
Goodwill previously cited source Tuesday saying Wade would pick up his option for next season, which is worth $23.8 million, per Spotrac. Wade also told David Aldridge of NBA.com “24 million reasons” when asked why he would opt in for the additional year.
While the Bulls would seem to be in the early stages of a rebuild after trading Butler, that is plenty of money for Wade to potentially turn down just because the team traded Butler. What’s more, he is a Chicago native and coming off a solid season in 2016-17 when he averaged 18.3 points per game in his age-35 season.
He will serve as a veteran leader when he ultimately stays, but he would have been better served elsewhere if he wanted to win a fourth championship ring in the twilight of his career.
That is not going to happen in Chicago after the Butler trade.
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