Dwyane Wade Agrees to Two-Year Deal With the Bulls

By Staff  |  07/06/2016

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade has decided to leave Miami and take his talents to Chicago.

That's right! You read right. The free agent has agreed to a two-year, $47.5 million deal with the Chicago Bulls, after 13 years with the Heat, reports The Vertical. The deal also includes a player option that will allow him to return to free agency in 2017.

To make room from Wade, the Bulls had to clear salary-cap space, and did so by trading guard Jose Calderon to the Los Angeles Lakers and forward Mike Dunleavy to the Cleveland Cavaliers, said sources.

The move is a homecoming for Wade, returning to his childhood home, where he idolized Michael Jordan growing up, before becoming an All-American at Marquette and a 12-time NBA All-Star with Miami.

The Bulls will have a very different line-up next season. After trading Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol both have agreed to deals with other teams. So, Wade will join newly-signed point guard Rajon Rondo and emerging superstar Jimmy Butler, who will likely move to small forward.

Following news of his decision, Wade penned an open letter to the city of Miami, where he's spent his entire NBA career. In it, he says that it was "an extremely emotional and tough decision" to leave the Miami Heat.

"I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships," he wrote in the letter, published by the Associated Press. "I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together."

Later, Wade acknowledged that, as an Illinois native, the Bulls have a special place in his heart. "Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player," he continues. "I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game. Many of my family members still live in Chicago and I am excited to return home to a city very close to my heart."

Read the letter in its entirety below:

Dear Miami,

This has been an extremely emotional and tough decision to come to. After 13 years, I have decided to embark on a new journey with the Chicago Bulls. This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family.

I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships. I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I want to express my gratitude to the Arison family, Pat Riley, Coach Erik Spoelstra, the coaching staff, and the entire Miami Heat organization.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community and especially #HEATNATION for all of their love and support over the years. It has been truly incredible. I am deeply moved and appreciative of the positive messages from my fans expressing that they want what's best for me and I know they will support my decision. The memories including championship parades and five conference titles are incredible moments we have shared that will always remain close to my heart as I begin the next chapter of my life.

Growing up in Robbins, Ill., I never dreamed that an NBA career could have even been possible and that one day I would wear a Chicago Bulls jersey. Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player. My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game. Many of my family members still live in Chicago and I am excited to return home to a city very close to my heart.

I look forward to returning to my roots and to what lies ahead.

Much Love and Respect,

D. Wade