The rebuilding process at the Chicago Bulls is now in full swing as the buyout of Dwyane Wade from the franchise has been confirmed after he spent just one season with the team.
While the move gives the Bulls the opportunity to rebuild, it also provides Wade with an opportunity to join a team that has the capabilities to compete and potentially win a championship before he decides to call it a career.
The shooting guard spoke to The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson following the buyout and gave his reaction to it, describing it as a dream to play for the city of Chicago, but he understands that the team is now going in a new direction.
Wade said: "I just felt it was time for me, turning 36, that I want to be competing for a championship. I said when I got here, it was always a dream for me to play here. And getting that opportunity was special. And I can't even say it wasn't what everyone expected because we went to the playoffs. And trying to restore this franchise to respectability was our goal. The organization decided to go in a different direction, which I respect.
"I understand how business works in this league. They were going a direction that at this point of my career, I didn't want to be a part of. Being unselfish, these young players they're giving these opportunities to, they need to have that time to make mistakes and learn as they're growing and building what they envision. They don't need an old guy like me hanging around them."
Wade also defended his former head coach Fred Hoiberg, which may come as a surprise to some people after everything that has happened.
He said: "Also, I need to say this: A lot of people give Fred a lot of flak. I don't think they should. He hasn't had the opportunity he signed up to have, and I hope they get there and give him a team that works with his personality and his coaching style and his assistant coaches' style. They were nothing but great to me. I appreciate Fred."
The 35-year-old added as well that if things had gone differently against the Boston Celtics in the playoffs last season, he could still be playing for the Bulls right now.
"I was a little disappointed because being up 2-0 versus Boston on the road, Rondo goes down," Wade said. "If that doesn't happen, we're having a different conversation."
Wade is now a free agent, so he will be looking for a championship-caliber team to play for to chase another title once more before calling it a day.