Former All-Star shooting guard and free agent Dwyane Wade is close to coming to a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The free agent signing that will reunite both Wade and LeBron James is expected to be finalized Wednesday according to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski.
This comes as news to Oklahoma City Thunder fans who had thoughts of Wade coming off the bench to supplement the trio of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George dancing in their heads.
Earlier in the week, Wojnarowski reported that Oklahoma City was making an “aggressive bid” for Wade’s services. Even going as far to share that both Wade and George spent a considerable amount of time together working out over the summer.
At Thunder Media Day, Anthony let it known what his thoughts on the potential signing of his long-time close friend Wade.
“Come on D,” Anthony said with a smile. “You know where ya wanna be.”
Sam Presti even hinted during his brief media availability that Wade was a long shot to come to Oklahoma City.
“Often times, players know where they are going beforehand,” Presti explained. “That is the nature of the league today.”
It appears that the ability to start with Cleveland rather than come off the bench with the Thunder as well as the relationship between Wade and James won out in the end.
While it is unclear what the Thunder would do if Wade were to sign with Oklahoma City, it is fair to assume a sixth-man role would be the likely outcome. Andre Roberson would retain his starter status in order to be more effective in his role.
Losing out on Wade is no surprise. It was always going to be a long shot despite what his relationships with Anthony or George are. At age 35, Wade’s prime is in the rearview mirror but he can still contribute and be a valuable piece to a championship contender. His role will likely be larger in Cleveland than in Oklahoma City.
Despite having a starting five that includes three All-Stars, Oklahoma City still has areas of their roster that can be improved via player movements. Presti’s aggressiveness over the summer suggests that he will continue to improve this roster in order to compete against the top teams in the league.
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