Best friends Dwyane Wade and LeBron James could be teammates once again, according to Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post. Schultz is reporting that Wade is in preliminary talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the defending NBA champions and play alongside his best friend once again.
League source: Dwyane Wade in preliminary talks with #Cavs to reunite with Lebron. Talks still early.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 5, 2016
In addition to Schultz’s tweet, which came out early Tuesday morning, Complex Magazine reported that there was speculation Wade was on a private jet that departed Fort Lauderdale for Cleveland on Monday night. Twitter was set ablaze that the private jet belonged to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and that LeBron and Dwyane were aboard the flight.
To make things even more interesting, Joe Lull, who is a retired Cleveland sports radio host, tweeted out a flight tracker link for this private jet on Monday night. If you’ll remember, Lull was the one who broke the news that Gilbert had flown down to Miami in 2014 to meet with James. LeBron would end up coming back home to Cleveland that very summer.
— Joe Lull (@LullOnSports) July 5, 2016
Adding more fuel to the fire, the plane in question was a member of the Luxury Jets Group fleet, and the company’s Twitter account tweeted out a message that read “Happy 4th!” and tagged James, Wade, and Gilbert at 10:21 p.m. on Monday evening.
— Luxury Jets Group (@LuxJetGroup) July 5, 2016
In a court of law, this would all be considered strong circumstantial evidence, but it obviously wouldn’t be enough to prove that Wade is definitely in talks to join the Cavaliers. Thankfully, this isn’t a court of law — it’s NBA free agency, and just about anything goes in this world.
Dwyane Wade’s interest in joining the Cavaliers makes total sense. At this point in his career, the opportunity to win a championship and play with his best friend likely means more to Wade than the opportunity to make one more decent paycheck. With the Golden State Warriors adding Kevin Durant, there’s no chance that Dwyane will win another title by staying with the Miami Heat.
Not only does Wade not have a chance to win a title if he stays in Miami, but he’s likely still hurt by the team’s initial offer in free agency. Heat president Pat Riley low-balled Dwyane with an offer of $10 million per year to stay in Miami. This is a place where Wade has played his entire career and has brought three championships to the organization over the course of his career and yet Riley still showed Dwyane that type of disrespect.
Only after Durant announced on Monday that he would be joining the Warriors did Riley then decide to up his offer to Wade to two years and $40 million. While that’s certainly a respectable deal for a 34-year-old shooting guard, Dwyane is likely still hurt by the initial offer and now has the opportunity to go where he feels wanted.
In addition to talking with the Cavaliers, the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, and Milwaukee Bucks have all shown interest in Wade. Unfortunately for those teams, it seems highly unlikely that Dwyane would choose anywhere besides Cleveland or Miami at this point. Wade’s only chance of winning another championship would come in Cleveland, or Dwyane could decide that he wants to remain with the Heat for the entirety of his career.
It’ll be interesting to see how things go between Wade and the Cavaliers. Currently, the Warriors are heavy favorites to win another championship next season after Kevin Durant, but Cleveland could certainly throw a wrench into those plans if they are able to add Dwyane Wade.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]