Have We Seen the Last of Wade?
For the past 14 years Dwyane Wade has dazzled us on the hardwood, but after a suffering an elbow fracture this week have we seen the last of Wade? The twelve time All-Star is on the downside of his career, and will turn 36 during the upcoming season. While Wade can still physically play the game, he no longer possesses the ability to take over games every night, like he did so many times for the Heat. With the Bulls this season he is averaging 18.6 points per game, which is his lowest output since his rookie season. Chances are that he has at least played his last game with his hometown Bulls; however he does have a $23.8 million dollar player option for next season. But with the Bulls likely missing the playoffs for a second straight year it seems rather unlikely that Wade would return to the Bulls.
In addition to a team that is heading nowhere, Wade has been bothered with knee problems since he entered the league. The problem stems from surgery to remove the meniscus from his left knee while he was in college. Had he suffered the injury later in his career he would have likely had the meniscus repaired, much like Russell Westbrook had done a few years back.
At this point in his career it would not be surprising to see Wade opt out of his contract to pursue one last chance to chase a title. Now he has said that winning a ring is not as high of a priority now as it once was. With two or three more decent years left in him the odds remain slim that he will call it a career. The good news for Wade is that he will not require surgery and that there is a slim chance he could return for the playoffs if the Bulls were able to pull off the improbable feat.
For now though, Wade will have plenty of time to look back and reflect on his impressive NBA career. And when he does decide to hang up the sneakers, there is no doubt that he will be a first ballot hall of famer.