- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Former NBA Finals MVP Dwyane Wade has agreed to leave the Miami Heat after a 13-year career and sign with the Chicago Bulls, according to multiple news outlets Wednesday evening.

In a move first reported by Yahoo Sports, the 34-year-old Chicago native will sign a two-year, $47 million contract that will let him come home and play for the team he loved a young man.

Dwyane Wade has informed the Bulls he plans to sign a deal with them, sources tell @TheVertical. Bulls sending out contracts now,” tweeted Adrian Wojnarowski, reporter for Yahoo’s NBA hub The Vertical.

In a letter to the Heat released to the Associated Press, Wade said “this was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family.”

The revamping Bulls, who lost Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah to, respectively, a trade and free agency, began making the needed moves to clear space under the salary cap to sign Wade.

According to ESPN, the Bulls have agreed to send Mike Dunleavy to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Cavaliers are willing to make use their trade exception to acquire him. Meanwhile, Jose Calderon will become the property of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wade was part of the “big three” who helped win two NBA titles for the Miami Heat along with “Decision”-era LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2012 and 2013.

He also lead the team, with the help of a late-career Shaquille O’Neal, to a less inevitable-seeming title in 2006, defeating the favored Dallas Mavericks 4-2 in the final. Wade averaged 34.7 points per game in the series and was named MVP.

The 34-year-old shooting guard has struggled at times with injuries in recent years, but is the Heat all-time career leader in games, minutes, points, assists and steals.

He has still been named to 12 all-star teams, won one NBA scoring title, and also holds the NBA record for most blocks by a player 6-foot-4 or shorter.

The Bulls deal is “only” worth $47 million and Wade reportedly was offered more than $52 million by the Denver Nuggets. But the lure of playing for his hometown Chicago Bulls apparently won out.

“Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player,” Wade wrote in his letter to the Heat. “My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game.”

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