The case of Dwyane Wade gets curiouser and curiouser.
Although most pundits think Wade will wind up in Miami, helping the Nets secure Tyler Johnson, there's a rising belief the Chicago Bulls, Wade's hometown team, are making a serious bid for the three-time NBA champion.
But for the Heat to make a serious bid for Wade --and find enough space to match the Nets offer-- or for the Bulls to find the cap space to sign him, each would need to trade contracts -- and possibly use incentives like draft picks to get things done.
For the Heat, the ideal move would be to move Josh McRoberts, the 6'10" power forward whose two year, $12 million deal, but Ira WInderman thinks that will be difficult with teams, not further identified, refusing to take the deal without BIG incentives. And it's all complicated by their desire to match on Johnson.
Ira WInderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel tweets...
So this: Could/would Heat deal McRoberts with pick or player in order to clear space to meet Wade contract goals?— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 6, 2016
No matter what, Heat working against clock, especially should they match Tyler Johnson offer sheet, which would cut into needed cap space.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 6, 2016
Heat assets to sweeten a McRoberts deal: A. 2023 first-round pick. B. Justise Winslow. C. Josh Richardson. D. Doubt a 2nd-rounder does it.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 6, 2016
Complicating the issue is that the Heat has fewer first round picks than the Nets. The first one they can trade is the 2023 pick.
The Bulls on the other hand need to dump even worse assets to get to the place they need to, as Woj notes...
Sources: In last few hours, Bulls calling teams to unload contracts, trying to create space to sign Dwyane Wade. Wade is serious about them.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 6, 2016
Sources: Two players Bulls are calling everyone with space on: Jose Calderon and Mike Dunleavy. Those contracts get them toward Wade space.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 6, 2016
Those are difficult contracts to unload without incentives (picks). Tougher roster decisions could loom if Chicago wanted to sign Wade.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 6, 2016
Increasingly though the Bulls are optimistic they can get things done...
And they probably do. Oh the drama. https://t.co/3Q6x3w0tSR— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 6, 2016
Is there an opportunity there for the Nets? Sure, starting with Johnson. The Nets could have $21 million in cap space once they sign Johnson to an offer sheet, which is expected to happen Thursday. (There's no word on whether they will also tender an offer sheet to Allen Crabbe, which could be a fool's errand if Portland continues to say they will match any deal.) They even added to their cap cache early Wednesday afternoon by rescinding their qualifying offer to Markel Brown, a curious move unless Brown asked for it ... or the Nets want to get as much space as possible for some later deal.
In theory, the Nets could take on McRoberts contract and demand incentives, starting with the Heat renouncing Johnson's rights ... or a pick. But they're not saying ... much.
"We’re following our plan so far. It’s a plan we stated from the beginning and we’re sticking with it," Kenny Atkinson said at summer league practice Wednesday morning. "It’s not always the big, splashy headlines. I think where we are and our stage right now, I think we’re very happy with how things have gone so far. I like the place we’re in."
Sources: Dwyane Wade is pushing for a resolution on his future tonight: Miami, Chicago or Denver. Pat Riley wants an answer too.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 7, 2016
Will it all get done Wednesday ... or how about Thursday morning when Wade is co-hosting the Kelly Ripa show? It might, but expect a lot more machinations if it does. Whether the Nets get involved is uncertain. So as we like to say, stay tuned.