LeBron James: Cavs ‘Couldn’t Afford’ Dwyane Wade

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted Dwyane Wade to join them this summer, but they didn’t have the scratch to make it happen.

Wade was looking for a deal in the $50 million range as a free agent—he ended up settling for $47 million from the Bulls—which was out of the Cavs’ reach.

The future Hall of Famer recently told SLAM that as the owner of three NBA championships, he had no need to chase a ring anywhere (certainly not in Chicago.)


“We couldn’t afford him,” James said. “It’s that simple.”


Wade signed a two-year deal with Chicago in the offseason worth about $47 million. The Cavs, well above the cap with a star-studded core of James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson all signed to long-term deals, could have offered Wade only the taxpayer midlevel exception, worth about $3.5 million.


Cleveland ended up using the MLE on retaining Richard Jefferson. […] “Who wouldn’t be interested in a Hall of Famer?” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue echoed, referring to Wade’s likely spot in the Hall. “That don’t even make sense. Yeah, we wanted him.”

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