So the unthinkable happened, and Dwyane Wade has left the Miami Heat for the Chicago Bulls. Even weirder: He joins our old friend and Wade’s old enemy, Rajon Rondo. That team sure will be... something. Chris Mannix gives this analysis.
What are the Bulls doing here, anyway? Wade is a backcourt scorer, and Chicago did just jettison a former (faded) MVP. But Wade is hardly a floor spacer – he connected on a ghastly 16 percent of his threes last season – and the Bulls' three best perimeter players now all live inside the arc. And we still don't know if Butler, whose level of support within the organization seems to vary by the week, rubber-stamped this. This deal feels strategic: Use Wade to sell tickets and stay relevant now, hope he plays well enough to influence free agents in the future.
Coach Fred Hoiberg is supposed to be running a pace-and-space offense, but the spacing part of that equation will be a legit problem. Rondo is Rondo, Wade is a flat-out bad shooter from long distance, and Jimmy Butler isn’t exactly known for his 3-point shooting. They’ll be an interesting team, and probably a playoff team, but I’m not sure how they challenge the best of the East, including the Celtics.
It always comes back the Celtics here, because well, this is a Celtics blog called CelticsBlog.
First of all, this move more than likely takes Jimmy Butler off the trading block... at least for now. The Bulls could have blown everything up and started their rebuilding process, but they decided against that route. Now they want to build around Butler, and they want to win now.
So what happens if (or when) this doesn’t work out? Will the Bulls then decide to shop Butler (their best trade chip) at the deadline? I wouldn’t rule it out. Rondo is on a one-year deal, and Wade has an out after the year, and he could bolt for the Cavs or some other team in next year’s market. So the Bulls might be rebuilding sooner or later whether they like it or not.
Anyway, the circus that is the NBA free agency period continues. The Celtics added one of the top free agents in the land, the Nets made some smart moves but don’t appear to be better than the 5th-worst team, and we still have to see how things shake out with Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger. Are we having fun yet?