As you would expect, a star player leaving a team with whom he helped lead to three championships is kind of a big deal. But if you have been following this story, there is more to it beneath the surface.
Wade's stint with the Heat should not have ended this way but team czar Pat Riley really has only himself to blame. After in a market in which contracts were soaring all over the place in the wake of a skyrocketing salary cap, Riley offering Wade a serious paycut to only $10 million a season (less than what Aaron Afflalo is now making), which was half of Wade was making the previous season, truly was a slap in the face. Couple that with Wade's loyalty over the years, as well as the crazy fact that he was never the team's highest paid player, and even after the Heat had offered Wade a contract at $20 million a season, the damage had already been done. And frankly, it's disingenuous for Riley to act like he was so sad in the wake of this move considering he probably should have seen this coming. Not to mention that Riley may very well had known what he was doing all along.
But while bringing in somebody with the starpower that Wade has is certainly intriguing for a franchise like the Bulls in the wake of the Derrick Rose trade, this certainly is an odd fit. The Bulls were widely expected to, if not rebuild, but retool around Jimmy Butler while building a roster better fitting for the style of offense that Fred Hoiberg likes to run. Instead, the Bulls have brought in a couple of ball-dominant guards in Wade as well as Rajon Rondo, and neither of them can shoot much at all these days. Therefore, a team that has struggled to space the floor will only continue to do so in all likelihood and by bringing in a guy like Wade, they may just be stunting Butler's development at one of the worst times to do that.
So instead of tailoring the roster the way they should to suit Butler and to suit Hoiberg while being able to compete more after a disappointing 2015-16 season, Chicago decided to bring in a couple of big names on the wrong side of 30 and both with injury issues.
The Heat are perhaps in worse shape. They chose to alienate the face of their franchise while hoping to lure the top free agent of the offseason, Kevin Durant, down to Miami. As we all know, that effort was unsuccessful (as expected) and now they are building their future around center Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside, who is still somewhat of a question mark even after an impressive 2015-16 season, was reportedly willing to forego some cash in order to help bring in Durant and keep Wade but now he is effectively the face of the franchise as Chris Bosh's future is in question due to injuries. Not paying Wade gives the team some financial flexibility going forward to lure in pieces but after how they treated their face of the team, are they still as appealing as they once were?