The idea of Dwyane Wade rejoining LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers is losing steam. Fast.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, James is “not actively recruiting” Wade to play with him in Cleveland, despite Wade’s potential departure from the Miami Heat and growing speculation of a reunion after the two long-time friends vacationed together just last week.
Yes, Dwyane Wade and LeBron were very publicly vacationing together last week, but sources said James is not… https://t.co/JVKEr6XfwH
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 6, 2016
Wade is currently deciding his basketball future, which might not include a return to Miami. There is a chasm growing between Wade and Heat president Pat Riley, with Wade now seriously entertaining the idea of signing elsewhere.
But Cleveland doesn’t look like one of the leading candidates.
The Denver Nuggets have a two-year deal worth over $50 million on the table for Wade. The Heat are only offering two years and $40 million, while both the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks are making public runs at signing the Illinois native and Marquette star.
Wade, 34, has spent all 13 NBA seasons with the Heat, winning three titles and making 12 All-Star teams. He won back-to-back titles with James in Miami during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
According to Shelburne, James—who is also currently a free agent—is not willing to take less than the max contract from the Cavs. Once James re-signs, there won’t be enough money left for Cleveland to make a serious run at bringing in Wade. It would take other significant moves to create the cap space necessary for Wade and James to team up in Cleveland.
The two stars rejoining forces with the Cavs would make a truly compelling story, especially with Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City and joining the Golden State Warriors.
However, James isn’t currently recruiting Wade to Cleveland, likely because he knows the pieces can’t fit. He’s not playing for pennies next season, even if it means eliminating the chance at getting Wade to the Cavaliers.