By Cody Westerlund–
(CBS) Dwyane Wade will be back with the Bulls next season.
Wade has informed the organization that he’ll pick up his 2017-’18 player option for $23.8 million, as CSN Chicago first reported. The decision was widely expected, as Wade wouldn’t have earned such a lucrative figure on the open market and he had spoken of his family’s affinity for living in Chicago, his hometown. It will mark the final season of his two-year deal with the Bulls.
The timing is somewhat notable. Wade’s decision deadline wasn’t until next week, so he could’ve waited to see what direction the Bulls take with star wing Jimmy Butler as trade rumors fly and draft night awaits Thursday. Now, Wade will be back no matter what, whether the Bulls are trying to contend for a playoff spot or choose to move Butler and rebuild.
Wade, who turns 36 in January, averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season while shooting 43.4 percent. He played in 60 games, missing a longer stretch late in the season with a fractured bone in his elbow.
The question now is whether Wade may help lure free agents of any sort to the Bulls, who could have room to add if they part ways with Rajon Rondo or Nikola Mirotic or may have little flexibility if those two come back. Wade has indicated he’d be open to recruiting others to Chicago — but only if it’s the ideal scenario.
“Yeah, if I feel the direction is going in a way that I want a guy to come,” Wade said on April 29, a day after the Bulls’ season ended. “When I did that the first time, it was come and be a part of (a championship). It was let’s win championships. I don’t want to tell somebody to come here just to come here because I need a friend. If you feel that the team is put in a position that that person or two people can help take you to that next level, then yeah I will make that call. But I’m not making a call just to make a call. I wouldn’t do that.”
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. He’s also the co-host of the @LockedOnBulls podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.