While some teams have quietly gone into the offseason, the NBA season now enters the prime stage in the NBA playoffs. The first round kicked off this past weekend, with some upsets coming out of the Eastern Conference. While the Milwaukee Bucks won Game 1 over the Toronto Raptors, Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls upset the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics.
Although Wade didn’t have a peak offensive performance, his experience aided his key defensive switches onto Isaiah Thomas that helped secure their upset win. Wade finished the game with 11 points (4-for-12 shooting), five rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
Wade was all over the floor, staring in his first playoffs with his hometown team. While the Bulls have no reason to consider the impending offseason implications, they do have to worry about Wade and his situation. The Marquette alumnus owns a $23.8 million option for next season and has never been shy in stating his mind.
During their early season struggles, Wade wasn’t hesitant in stating he was considering leaving, as the 14-year veteran understands his career is now on the decline. Wade was once again asked about his looming contract status, giving an indirect answer to a tricky situation, via Joe Cowley of the Chicago SunTimes:
“It’s tough in this league because a lot of it depends on how much money you’re willing to make,’’ Wade said then. “It depends on what city you’re willing to be in. So it’s a lot of variables to that. But no question about it, what happens throughout this year as I go into my summer, I’ll definitely take a look at it. I take my career seriously, where I am, where I want to be, and I will do the same thing this summer.”
Wade passed up on the opportunity to receive more money with the Denver Nuggets or re-signing with his beloved Miami Heat when he elected for the hometown discount. Although the Bulls haven’t had an ideal regular season, they find themselves with a chance to pull off a rare 1-8 upset.
His high basketball IQ and playoff experience are truly a plus for coach Fred Hoidberg, alongside fellow guard Rajon Rondo. The Bulls were able to clamp down on the defense when it mattered, with star Jimmy Butler having a phenomenal Game 1.
After the conclusion of the regular season, Wade now has career averages of 23.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. His electrifying play and willingness to attack the basket have him in the conversation for the third greatest shooting guard of all time, behind Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Wade decided to play it safe with the comments regarding Chicago and rightfully so, as their playoff run surely has implications on his decision this summer. A deep run into the playoffs might have Wade finish out his career in Chicago, as a fairytale ending to what seems to be a Hall-of-Fame career.