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Strong Reactions As Bulls Prepare To Sign Hometown Hero Dwyane Wade

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jul 7, 2016 3:37PM

Dwyane Wade / Photo: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Just two weeks after trading local hero Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, the Bulls on Thursday will sign a new aging Chicago-area native: former Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade.

Wade's deal will be for two years, worth $47.5 million. The Heat offered the free agent a comparable deal, according to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, but Wade, 34, chose his hometown Chicago instead.

It's the latest move in a highly active offseason for the team: the Bulls also signed point guard (and onetime Wade rival ) Rajon Rondo and recently traded Mike Dunleavy and Jose Calderon in order to clear up cap space.

Reactions were quick—and at times pretty hilarious:

But not everyone was left feeling so whimsical...

The move was an oh-what-the-hell stab at relevance, as Jon Greenberg of the Athletic saw it:

"What do we call this Maxwell Street version of a Big Three anyway? Given the way they shoot the 3, how about the Clang Gang?

Adding a 34-year-old Wade, who played 1,021 regular season and playoff games for the Miami Heat, is a head-scratching move for a franchise that was teetering on irrelevancy. One imagines the folks in charge, from chairman Jerry Reinsdorf down, were willing to trade potential anonymity and a clean slate for a short-term window of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ fun."

Blog a Bull pointed out the seemingly erratic logic of the move:

"You have to remember though, this key thing: the Bulls have no idea what they're doing and don't have the organizational structure to conceive or execute a plan. So their plan with the Rose trade was to get younger, but then they sign friggin' Rajon Rondo to preserve 2017 cap space, but now they'll look to sign Dwyane Wade to negate both of those things."

But at least the move brings the potential for a lot of fun, Brian Mazique of Forbes wrote:

"This move doesn’t appear to add a player to the Bulls’ mix who fits the team's current pieces, or its head coach’s philosophy. It also doesn’t match general manager Gar Forman’s initiative to make the team “younger and more athletic." With all that said, I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge it is a compelling and un-Bull-like move. Wade is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer and a local product. That’s got to be exciting for most Bulls fans."

And truth be told, it's hard to not feel some kind of civic-pride heart swell when you read the Chicago portion of Wade's letter to fans, especially knowing he received similar offers:

"Growing up in Robbins, Ill., I never dreamed that an NBA career could have even been possible and that one day I would wear a Chicago Bulls jersey. Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player. 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. Many of my family members still live in Chicago and I am excited to return home to a city very close to my heart.

I look forward to returning to my roots and to what lies ahead."