Greatest free agency signings in NBA history: 26. Dwyane Wade- Chicago Bulls, 2016
Much like Rajon Rondo, the Bulls brought in Dwyane Wade in 2016 as part of Gar Forman and Jon Paxson’s master plan of giving pace-and-pace head coach Fred Hoiberg a bevy of…players who were useless without the ball in their hands.
In Wade’s case, his two-year, $47 million pact came after he felt that Miami Heat team president Pat Riley shortchanged him in contract negotiations. I know, it’s shocking that Riley wouldn’t want to commit most of his cap space to an aging wing with knee problems. He needed to save that money for underachieving big men!
On the surface, Wade’s numbers looked decent enough, as he averaged a respectable 18.3 points with a .434/.310/.794 shooting line in his lone season with his hometown team. However, those numbers obfuscated his ho-hum advanced numbers; his 18.5 PER and .090 WS/48 were a far cry from his days as one of the top five players in the NBA during his prime.
Simply put, Wade wasn’t the player he once was. Years of mileage via those deep playoff runs with LeBron James in Miami took a toll on his health and those ailments slowly sapped the athleticism that made him so special. This made him an inefficient, high-volume shooter who couldn’t get to the line, make 3’s, or get other teammates involved because of the diminished focus from opposing defenses. This was probably why the Bulls net rating dropped from +2.3 to -2.5 when Wade played.
Thanks to the Bulls’ far-too-tardy decision to start from scratch following the team’s loss to the Celtics in the first round of the 2017 playoffs, the Wade-Bulls marriage didn’t last long, as they bought him out of the second year of his deal to let him play for a contending team.