Together again: LeBron and D-Wade. Just like old times.
Dwyane Wade has decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers and reunite with LeBron James, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Tuesday night.
Wade, a 12-time All-Star, is expected to clear waivers on Wednesday and then join the Cavaliers, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until Wade goes through the waiver process.
In Cleveland, Wade will be reunited with James, his close friend, former Miami teammate and a player he confided in before signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls last year.
Wade and James won two NBA titles together during four seasons with the Heat and will now chase another one with the Cavaliers, who have been revamped after losing to the Golden State Warriors in last season’s Finals.
On Monday, James said he would “love” to play again with Wade.
“He brings another championship pedigree, championship DNA,” James said at Cleveland’s media day. “He brings another player to the team who can get guys involved, can make plays and also has a great basketball mind. I hope we can bring him here. I would love to have him.”
Once Wade completes the waiver formality, he’ll be the latest new, high-profile player to join the Cavs, who traded for All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, signed former league MVP Derrick Rose and added two strong wing defenders in Jae Crowder and Jeff Green, wing players who may help them defend the Warriors if those teams get back to a fourth straight Finals matchup.
Thomas isn’t expected to play until January because of a hip injury, but until he returns the Cavs have plenty of firepower in James, Wade, Rose and All-Star Kevin Love, who could thrive as Cleveland’s No. 2 scoring threat now that Kyrie Irving is in Boston.
Wade agreed to a contract buyout earlier this week with the Bulls, who signed him before last season as a free agent.
The Cavaliers emerged Tuesday as front-runners over the Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder to land the 35-year-old Wade, who many feel say has plenty of game left.
He’ll now have a shot at another championship — his fourth — while playing alongside James, whom he has been friends with since they broke into the league together in 2003. When James left Cleveland as a free agent in 2010 and signed with Miami, much of his reason for leaving his home state was a chance to play with Wade and Chris Both.
Wade played his first 13 seasons in Miami, leaving in the summer of 2016 to sign a two-year deal with the Bulls. But the Bulls are in a rebuilding mode after trading Jimmy Butler this summer, and instead of paying Wade $23.8 million to play for what will likely be a struggling team they agreed this weekend to buy him out and let him find a better situation.
In an interview with AP, Wade said that whatever decision he makes would be “a pure basketball decision and I’ll make the one that I feel fits me best at this point in my career and with what I feel I have to offer a team that needs what I have to offer.”
Following practice on Tuesday, Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson said Wade would be a “great” fit in Cleveland.
“He’s a guy that’s proven, not just individually, but a team that won three championships,” Thompson said. “He’s pretty familiar with most of the guys on our team. He’s always been a good locker room guy. We’ve never heard anything bad.
“It would be great for our team to have another championship-mentality player.”
Wade has averaged 23.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 14 seasons. He averaged 18.3, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the Bulls.
One of the game’s premiere closers in the postseason, Wade has averaged 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 172 playoff games.
Chicago Bulls re-sign forward Nikola Mirotic
The Chicago Bulls say they have re-signed forward Nikola Mirotic.
The Bulls did not announce the terms Tuesday, though a person familiar with the situation said two days earlier that two-year deal could pay as much as $27 million. The club holds an option for the second season.
The 6-foot-10 Mirotic averaged 10.6 points last season. He has scored 10.8 per game over three seasons.