Chicago Bulls: Looking back on the Dwyane Wade signing five years later

Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Five years ago to this date, on July 15, 2016, Dwyane Wade officially signed a two-year, $49 million deal with the Chicago Bulls. Wade joined Jimmy Butler and fellow newcomer Rajon Rondo on the Bulls to form what was dubbed the “three alphas” as the franchise looked to carve out a new era of winning under coach Fred Hoiberg.

Seeing Wade play for anyone other than the Miami Heat was strange at the time, and still is strange to look back on today. The 13-time All-Star made all of his appearances in the big game with the Miami Heat and won three titles with the team in 2006, 2012, and 2013.

The Heat went in a new direction after LeBron James left for Cleveland in the summer of 2014, and in 2016 Wade followed suit, returning to his hometown Chicago Bulls.

When news first broke early in the free agency window that Wade would be signing with the Bulls, he took to Twitter to share his excitement for his future in Chicago.

Hometown stint with the Chicago Bulls didn’t pan out too well for Dwyane Wade

For better or worse, this next chapter in his career was a short one.

Chicago went an even 41-41 in the 2016-2017 season, finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference, playing inconsistently and often without cohesion.

Everything clicked in the playoffs, when the 8-seed Bulls stunned the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the First Round, taking a 2-0 lead with back-to-back wins at the TD Garden.

In Game Two, Wade turned in a vintage performance, dropping 22 points as the Bulls defeated the Celtics 111-97.

Sadly, a resurgent Rajon Rondo would miss the rest of the series with a broken right thumb, and Chicago would drop the next four to get bounced by the Celtics in six games.

Despite flashes of hope in the postseason, the Bulls front office decided it wasn’t enough and that the time had come to rebuild. Butler would be sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Lauri Markkanen and 2021 Olympian Zach LaVine.

Rajón Rondo and Dwyane Wade were waived before the start of the 2017-2018 season.

Wade would join the Cleveland Cavaliers to reunite with LeBron James before returning to Miami at the trade deadline.

His time in the Windy City is left as a brief blip in an illustrious career. In 1,231 career games, just 66 came with the Bulls.

Although a brief stint, Wade’s time in Chicago will forever be a memorable one. The three alphas experiment was one of the most unique lineups the Bulls have ever sent out to the court, and their brief success against the Celtics will always be a story of what could’ve been.

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Wade will forever be remembered as a Heat legend, but his time with the Bulls should not be forgotten.