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Dwyane Wade is among the NBA’s most generous stars when it comes to team discounts

dwyane wade

Entering his fifteenth year in the NBA, Dwyane Wade will be with his third team in three years after agreeing to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the veteran’s minimum of $2.3 million. Wade was able to reach this agreement with the Cavs to team up with best friend LeBron James after agreeing to a buyout with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls agreed to pay Wade $16 million of the $24 million owed to him, releasing him from the team and allowing him to sign with the Cavs.

While he will not be the Cavs’ highest-paid player on the roster this season, with James making the most at $33.25 million, he was the owner of the biggest contract last season in Chicago. But despite being the highest-paid Bull, Dwyane Wade still left a large chunk of the change on the table in Chicago at $8 million. This is a common theme throughout Wade’s career, as the star guard has taken¬†much less than what he is worth in order to help his team.

The first real instance of Wade taking less money was back in his days in South Beach with the Miami Heat when the team signed him to a six-year $107.2 million contract. Despite the massive payday, Wade took less money that allowed the team to afford both LeBron James and Chris Bosh, assembling the first NBA super team of the modern era. With Wade leaving a little bit on the table for the team to work with, Miami was able to capture two NBA Championships after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals and the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals.

Even with earning less money, Wade was a beast for the Heat during the franchise’s Big Three era thanks in part to tons of electrifying plays like this:

Heading into the 2014-15 season Wade was again ready to take yet another pay cut for the team to be able to retain its core of himself, James, and Bosh. Instead, LeBron James decided to return home and sign with his hometown Cavs to try and win a championship there and deliver on a promise he made many moons ago.

With James now back on America’s North Coast, naturally, many expected the team to offer Wade a ton of money due to the fact he was the greatest player (besides James) to ever wear a Miami Heat uniform. Instead, this honor went to Chris Bosh, who agreed to a massive five-year $118 million contract extension. With Bosh now being the Heat’s highest-paid player, Wade was forced to sign a two-year $31.125 contract. During the 2014-15 season, Wade only earned $15 million, compared to Bosh’s $20.6 million, and the team was unable to replicate the success they saw during the Big Three era with Bosh being lost for the season due to blood clots

Following the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, Dwyane Wade declined his player option looking to sign a high-paying long-term deal with the Heat. Instead, things became tense between Miami and Wade as they were still on the books for Bosh’s max extension and were eventually able to negotiate a one-year deal worth $20 million. Bosh, again, was lost for the season to yet another blood clot and Wade was wasting the twilight of his career underpaid and feeling under-appreciated by a franchise that he worked tirelessly for.

This frustration reached a boiling point during the offseason as Dwyane Wade expected the team to offer him a massive contract so he could retire with the Heat. Instead of making his free agency a priority, the team turned their attention to Kevin Durant and Hassan Whiteside, putting Wade, the face of their franchise for over a decade, on the backburner. Obviously feeling spurned by his team, Wade then decided to join his hometown Chicago Bulls on a two-year $47 million contract while his former team struck out on Kevin Durant and other marquee free agents.

In his only year with the Bulls, Wade was the highest-paid player on a roster for the first time in his NBA career. But, things were a disaster for Wade in the Windy City as he and superstar Jimmy Butler clashed with Rajon Rondo, the teams’ younger players, and head coach Fred Hoiberg. The team limped into the playoffs with a record of 41-41.

Soon after the season ended, the team made a highly-questionable move shipping Jimmy Butler to join forces with former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. It was clear from then on that the team was ready to enter a rebuilding phase and many NBA fans waited with bated breath to see what Wade would do next as he eventually reached a buyout with the team and was able to play again with his best friend.

But, like countless other times throughout his career, Wade again took less money so that he could compete for an NBA championship. In joining Cleveland, he now has the best chance to reach the NBA Finals as the team is a near-lock to face the Golden State Warriors for a fourth consecutive Finals tilt. But his last season with Miami and Chicago have caused many to sour on Wade’s ability as a player. This is ludicrous as he can still compete at a high level when he was able to average 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists on an extremely toxic Bulls team.Wade has also shown flashes of his greatness throughout the preseason for the Cavs.

The fact that the Cavs were able to get the third greatest shooting guard of all time for such a cheap deal is a blessing. Not only does it give the team even more depth on an already-deep team, it also gives them a championship-minded player and someone who is hungry to shine on the league’s biggest stage once again. It also gives LeBron James a chance to have a lot of fun with his best friend by his side for another season in what could shape up for one of the best in Cleveland Cavaliers history.

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