Photo Credit: Dylan Buell
The Cleveland Cavaliers have emerged as clear favorites to land newly minted free agent Dwyane Wade, after he agreed to a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, sources told ESPN.com.
Wade agreed to leave about $8 million of his $23.8 million salary on the table after talks between the two sides about a resolution intensified ahead of Monday's start of training camp.
In addition to the Cavs, the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are contenders for Wade once his buyout becomes official, sources said. Wade also has a close relationship with Carmelo Anthony, who will officially become a member of the Thunder on Monday.Wade has a long-standing relationship with LeBron James, who attempted to recruit Wade to Cleveland last summer, but the Cavs didn't have salary-cap space at the time. James and Wade have kept in touch this summer about Wade's options, sources said.
Wade, speaking to the AP on Sunday night, indicated that he might decide his next move quickly.
"I'm going to take tonight and some of tomorrow and speak to the teams or players that are on my list and go from there,'' Wade said. "My decision is a pure basketball decision, and I'll make the one that fits me best at this point in my career and with what I feel I have to offer a team that needs what I have to offer.''
He also tweeted his thanks to Chicago and its fans.