The Los Angeles Lakers have been hard at work assembling a roster that features both young players and talented veterans, and they reportedly almost landed another one: Dwyane Wade. The veteran guard became a free agent earlier this summer when he secured a buyout with the Chicago Bulls, who decided to focus on rebuilding around young players after they traded away star wing Jimmy Butler.
Wade had a number of suitors, including the suddenly loaded Oklahoma City Thunder, but ultimately decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers so he could chase another championship with longtime friend LeBron James.
The Lakers were one of the teams he considered joining, and according to friend and former Laker Caron Butler in aTMZ interview, Wade had some specific reasons why he was interested in heading to Los Angeles:
“With the Lakers, it made sense because of life after basketball and all the things his lovely wife, Gabrielle Union, and himself is involved with.”
For Lakers fans, it can’t be very endearing that Wade’s primary interest in Los Angeles is due to life outside of basketball, but it does make a lot of sense. After all, the Lakers already have Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at shooting guard, and would be unlikely to shift him to the bench in order to make way for Wade, who is in the twilight of his career.
Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year deal with the Lakers in the hopes that he can cash in on next summer’s free agent market. The Lakers would probably be best-served to keep him and agent Rich Paul happy, especially since they will be suitors for LeBron James, also a client of Paul’s, next summer.
Of course, as difficult as the fit would have been from the Lakers side of things, it makes much more sense for the 35-year-old Wade to go to a team like Cleveland that can contend for a championship.
Don’t forget this story though; should James decide to head to Los Angeles next summer, Wade may not be far behind.